Wednesday, August 11, 2010
It is sometimes astounding how much -- and how little -- can be expected of us voters in today's mixed economy. On the one hand, our government illegitimately meddles in so many areas of our lives that it is basically impossible to be a "well-informed" voter, at least in terms of understanding the concrete ramifications of every possible stand on every possible issue of the candidates on a ballot. On the other hand, we have public advocates of "democracy" making headlines with the following worries:
Local and state boards of elections have launched education campaigns about the new voting machines, but advocates and some elected officials in New York City, where there are 4.6 million registered voters, said the efforts are far from adequate.That's right. We need to make sure that the voices of people who can't figure out how to operate a simple machine are nevertheless heard regarding issues of importance.
"Ninety-nine percent of the people do not know that this new system is coming," said Glynda Carr, executive director of Education Voters of New York, a schools advocacy group, following a demonstration of the new machine in Lower Manhattan yesterday.
"If they don't rev up and do a massive outreach in the next couple of weeks, you're going to have people that are going to walk away from the polls without voting," Ms. Carr said. "Democracy is too important to have a machine block the ability to send the right representatives to Albany." [emphasis added]
Not to defend a difficult-to-use voting system, but have these machines -- mandated by a law to make voting easier -- not been publicly tested? Are they not simple enough for a person of ordinary intelligence to operate, so long as he is paying at least some modicum of attention? Yes, they have been tested, and yes, they're easy to use. In fact, one story about such testing leads with the following quote: "It's very easy."
Only one question remains. What, exactly, does Glynda Carr really mean, in terms of a voter's rationale, when she speaks of picking the "right" candidate?