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Ease & Access vs. Security & Responsibility: Voting Too Easy?

Ease & Access vs. Security & Responsibility: Voting Too Easy?

I filled out my voter registration card months before I turned 18. It sat on my dresser impatiently until finally I was old enough to send 'er in. It was fun and easy. This election, the very process of voter registration has sparked passionate points of view: this editorial advocates for a minimal civics test that hopeful voters would have to pass in order to wield the power of the punch card.

He says, "I really don't want someone on the streets of Hollywood, who just failed to identify the vice president of the United States on one of Jay Leno's "Jay-Walking" segments, helping to select the person who will lead my government for the next four years." Given that we require basic knowledge to become a citizen or operate a motor vehicle, is choosing the future of the country a responsibility that should have stricter requirements?

Despite this opinion, the US seems to be moving away from more restrictions, to easy-as-pie-voting. A new Ohio voting law allows for a window of time (Sept. 30-Oct. 6) during which voters can register and vote early, immediately. Voting registration is controversial and there's a partisan aspect to the split according to this piece in the WSJ:

Traditionally, Democrats favor fewer checks on verification and greater access to voting to encourage larger turnouts, particularly among lower-income and minority voters, who tend to favor Democrats. Republicans usually push for closer monitoring, in such forms as laws with strict requirements for voters to present identification, which can result in lower turnout.

Does an ever increasingly easy/free-for-all access to voting a requirement of a democracy, or does the gravity of the task of voting deserve stricter requirements and heightened security measures?


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