Should Virginia adopt no-fault absentee voting, which would allow all registered voters to vote absentee without providing an excuse?
Don’t create opportunity for political operatives to commit fraud
Hoeft founded and continues to write for Bearing Drift blog (bearingdrift.com).
According to a recent Rasmussen poll, 66 percent of likely voters believe fraud is a serious issue. Only 12 percent believe it is not at all serious.
Jon Liss appears to be in that 12 percent.
Liss would also have you believe that if you disagree with his position, somehow you’re a racist or a xenophobe.
Apparently wanting free and fair elections has somehow become code for “Jim Crow” in his eyes.
Enough with the hyperbole already, Liss, we get it: Virginia once was part of the old South and has a history of slavery and discrimination.
However, one would hope that after being subject to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and complying with federal scrutiny for decades, the days of infringing upon one’s right to vote due to race are behind us.
Not to mention that Virginia’s demographic is decidedly different from the 1960s.
The insinuation that somehow opposing no-excuse absentee voting is a throw-back to the days of racial discrimination is an insult.
Regardless, Jon has good motives — advocating to maximize voter participation is something we both agree on. But no-excuse absentee voting offers not only the opportunity for political operatives to commit fraud, it is also unnecessary.
Absentee voting is not voting on demand.
Absentee voting is supposed to be an “in extremis” situation. Yet, anyone right now can say, “I’d like to vote in person, but: I’m in the military serving overseas; I’m sick; I’m pregnant; I’m working all day long; I’m attending UNC; I’m going to Disney World,” among many other excuses — and all valid.
Our Constitution and the vision of the framers was to check the tyranny of the majority. Unfortunately, these useful checks and balances are gradually being eroded toward a naive Utopian ideal of pure democracy; no-excuse absentee voting is just another step in that misguided direction.
Commonwealth shouldn’t decide who has valid reason to vote absentee
Liss is executive director of Virginia New Majority (virginianewmajority.org).
Virginia should join most of the rest of the country and permit no-fault absentee voting or true absentee voting. The commonwealth of Virginia should not determine whether or not a voter’s reason for voting absentee is valid. In fact, Virginia should take drastic steps to broaden democratic participation.
Concerning J.R. Hoeft’s five arguments:
1. Fraud: No-fault absentee voting does not change the documentation needed to secure a ballot. The documentation needed to vote is not in question.
2. Diminished sense of community: Community is formed through political engagement. No-fault absentee voting increases political engagement by removing unnecessary obstacles to voting.
3. Increased expense: There would be no extra costs if Virginia were to adopt no-fault absentee voting, except for the minuscule expense of printing a few more ballots and pencils for the additional voters who will participate in elections.
4. Uninformed choice: This year I have already seen hundreds of commercials, I’ve watched debates, I’ve read the newspaper and I’ve received mailings. No-fault absentee voters may vote before Election Day, but that hardly makes absentee voters uninformed.
5. Changes in the political system: Hoeft seems to suggest that absentee voting is a threat to democracy. Democracy is about participation, and no-fault absentee voting increases legitimate participation, period. And, our debate is simply over whether Virginia should be deciding who has and who hasn’t a valid reason to vote absentee.
No-fault absentee voting in Virginia takes away the discretion of individual registrars who currently can determine whether or not a person has a valid reason to vote absentee. Let’s remove unnecessary obstacles to voting. The government’s role is to ensure broad participation. Let’s join the rest of the country and permit no-fault absentee voting.