Wednesday, April 04, 2007

No Voter Left Behind

How about this: high stakes testing in every district in the nation, performed by international observers. Any district which can't prove that it has 1) registered all eligible voters, 2) provided all possible aid to assist said voters in voting and 3) counted all those votes, will have their federal representative taken away, and the voters will be reassigned to some other district. They'll also have all federal funding taken away.

That should improve things, right?

4 comments:

Jamila Akil said...

If you want to live in a totalitarian state, then yes, your suggestions should improve things. There is nothing liberal about forcing people to vote if they would prefer not--Saddam Hussein did the same thing. Some people would prefer to be apathetic about their lives and the government that the live under, I say let them be.

Provide all possible aid? What does that mean?

Who will determine what is possible and what isn't? The international observers or some other cherry picked officials in the government?

If you want to cut down on voter fraud then you have to make the local politicians and other officials beholden to the people in their district and state, not to international observers.

And if the state messes up somewhere then you punish the people by taking away their representatives and make them travel either further, incurring greater expenses, to vote elewhere? Who would pick up the tab for this?

The entire plan sounds like government heaped on top of government: a plan for abject failure in any endeavor.

Kaethe said...

Well, that the whole thing is a riff on the not too successful No Child Left Behind act seems to have been overlooked, but okay, my humor isn't for everyone. It may not even be for anyone.

Why do you consider it a totalitarian act to require voting precincts to actually abide by the voting laws? I consider that an open and honest republic.

You make a similar leap from registering voters and providing assistance to forcing people to vote.

[Usually when discussing voting, "provide all possible aid" would mean actually abiding by laws requiring accommodation of people with disabilities.]

Why are you concerned about international observers? That is the gold standard for free and just elections, when combined with exit polls.

Voter fraud isn't necessarily committed by politicians or officials, although it can be. Winner-take-all voting systems magnify the importance of a small actual number of votes. By increasing transparency in the system, one can decrease the strong temptation on everyone to err (I say, generously) on the side of their preferred constituency.

As NCLB forces districts to decrease funds to failing schools and to make the students travel farther, incurring, as you point out, greater expenses, the suggested NVLB should prove just as helpful.

I'm flattered you stopped by.

Jamila Akil said...

Well, that the whole thing is a riff on the not too successful No Child Left Behind act seems to have been overlooked, but okay, my humor isn't for everyone. It may not even be for anyone.

Oops! I picked up on the wording being similar but I thought that you were serious.

Why do you consider it a totalitarian act to require voting precincts to actually abide by the voting laws? I consider that an open and honest republic.

Voting precincts should abide by laws, but if a law is ridiculous or just plain unenforceable it should come as no surprise that people don't abide by it.

You make a similar leap from registering voters and providing assistance to forcing people to vote.

There's no leap. You wrote "Any district which can't prove that it has registered all eligible voters..."

The only way to prove anything would be to force all eligible voters to register. If you had written "any district which can prove it has allowed all eligible voters to register, if said voter wants to..." then I would have thought you mean't something different. I took your words literally.

Why are you concerned about international observers? That is the gold standard for free and just elections, when combined with exit polls.

Observers are a good thing; I just think they necessarily have to be international observers. Any impartial third party can observe the voting process and get the same results.

I'm flattered you stopped by.

Is this sarcasm? j/k

After a flurry of comments challenging my posts, when I didn't see any comment for a while I thought I should come look for you. :)

Kaethe said...

Ah, I see, no not such a leap as I had thought.

No, that wasn't sarcasm. I'm truly flattered that anyone would bother to read anything I've written given the enormous possibilities available. Since we fundamentally disagree on a number of issues, I'm impressed that you would take the time to read my posts and thoughtfully reply.

I did stop replying to your posts because I felt we were so at odds on starting positions that there really wasn't any point in challanging them. I think you're an admirable parent and person who just doesn't look at things the way I do.