That Huge Voter Turnout? Didn’t Happen
Posted by Steven Hayward
The Politico has the details here.
10:40 AM / November 10, 2008
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Given the amount of governing that is done by Courts and by Administrative bureaucracy, and given the amount that is done in Washington, rather than locally, why should more people vote? Democracy is much less important in the US now than it was before the Progressives built the modern American state.
Working the polls, my perspective is a bit different. On nearly every page of the poll book there is a registered voter who no longer lives at that address, or often, no longer lives at all. Unless someone who is a close relative contacts the Board of Elections, that name will remain on the list. This year, we had cards available for people to notify the Board of Elections of voters who would no longer be voting in the precinct. We collected a few, but only a close relative can make the report. A neighbor saying, "Charley has been dead for five years!" has no standing. One widow did not want to fill out the card. She liked the idea that her husband lived on in bureaucratic memory - or something like that.
Otherwise, I do disagree with Richard, except that I do not think most Americans regard the government of the nation in all that much analytic depth. Neither do I say that an inadvertently padded voter roll is the answer to the question, "Where did the voters go?" (Answer, either to the grave or to Ashtabula.) It is something, though, and we poll workers comment on it every year.
Do voter rolls, jury lists, etc. have an impact on federal hand-outs to local governments? Or is it strictly census-based? In short, is there an incentive not to purge the lists?
Kate to which part do you disagree. Do you disagree that elections matter less now than they used to (because our elected representatives are no longer allowed to legislate on many things on which they used to be able to write and re-write legislation)? Or simply that that is not what has reduced the perentage of Americans who vote?
As I understand, federal handouts are census based. Our village received all sorts of goodies when we hit 5000 people and became a city. As to the incentive not to purge, I can ask, but expect that purging the polls takes time and money. Wouldn't it be a bureaucratic nightmare to keep track of who moved and who died in a county, even a relatively small one? There is a process for purging the poll book, but as I am looking that up, I find a mess of angry articles about people being purged from Ohio poll books for not voting in more than two presidential elections. To purge or not purge, That is a major political question. Look at this.
As to the last paragraph, I mistyped. Read "agree" for "disagree" and what I wrote makes much more sense. I cannot account for the mistyping. I must have been feeling disagreeable this morning.