[FoRK] Newsroom score: American Taliban

Damien Morton dmorton at bitfurnace.com
Wed Aug 29 11:05:05 PDT 2012

You know, generally my proposed solution to the whole voter
disenfranchisement issue is to propose mandatory voting, as practised
in Australia. In general though, the concept of mandatory voting does
not sit well with Americans for some reason, even though it arguably
leads to a more democratic democracy.

See http://www.seattlepi.com/local/opinion/article/Compulsory-voting-means-ignoring-Election-Day-is-1160329.php
for a passionate advocacy of mandatory voting.

The thing about voter ID disenfranchisement isn't to prevent people
from voting so much as preventing them from registering to vote. Or
rather, asking people (without the required ID) to spend time
gathering the records required to get an ID.

Would it be too hard to have automatic and/or mandatory voter
registration, so that the vast majority of voters wouldn't have to do
anything in order to vote. You would broaden the sources for the voter
rolls from the motor vehicle board, to other sources, including banks,
rental agreements, house ownership records, utilities and such.
Basically any time a person interacts with a government,
quasi-government, or ubiquitous private organisation, and provides
them with a SS#, they would be registered to vote based on the SS# and
address they provided.

Obviously there are going to be times when a SS# comes up duplicated,
or used by multiple people, or fraudulently used or whatever, and for
these cases you would need some system of resolution.

A national-level organisation would be responsible for ensuring near
100% registration. Hell, you could outsource the job, paying bonuses
for each basis point above 90% registration.

You'd provide a national database of names and social security numbers
for states and local organisations to uniquify their lists against,
and you'd provide access to DHS immigrant lists.

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