Voting is one of the core rights of the United States. It is written into the Constitution as the privilege and duty of every adult citizen of this great nation of ours. No right is more important than the ballot box.
Unless you listen to the latest rant from Brietbart.com, that is.
According to Breitbart commentator Ben Shapiro, the drive to ensure that every adult votes in America is an act of “Desperation” and is just going to lead to “stuffing the ballot box.”
Yes, stuffing them with the legitimate votes of the people, who outnumber the fringe elements which Mr Shapiro is speaking to.
Former Office of Management and Budget director Peter Orszag feels quite differently in this op-ed piece in Bloomberg. In his article, Orszag points out that mandatory voting would eliminate the big money interests in elections. Mandatory voting means that negative TV ads, which are aimed to reduce voter turnout in key demographics, would no longer have the impact. Turn out the vote drives as well would be all but eliminated. As these two are the largest portion by which corporate and foreign money influences the democratic process, it is clear to see why there are groups who would be against voting.
Australia implemented mandatory voting some time ago, to great success. As a result, the participation numbers in Australia have become the envy of the democratic world.
One angle of the argument against voting is to claim that it is un-American. This is easily disproved. In 1777, the state of Georgia implemented mandatory voting inside of its state constitution. This provision, read as follows:
Article XII. Every person absenting himself from an election, and shall neglect to give in his or their ballot at such election, shall be subject to a penalty not exceeding five pounds; the mode of recovery, and also the appropriation thereof, to be pointed out and directed by act of the legislature: Provided, nevertheless, That a reasonable excuse shall be admitted.
In his article, Mr Shapiro tips his hands as to his real reasons why he wants people not to vote, he admits that such an effort “would raise participation rates in heavily Democrat-leaning populations, particularly minorities.”
It all comes down to keeping those darned brown and black-skinned people from having a voice in the end, doesn’t it Mr Shapiro?