Do not restrict who can vote

To the editor:

In the Independent on Feb. 4, Mr. Paul Vanmeveren raises an issue about voting. Mr. Vanmeveren writes that some people are what he calls “low-information” voters.

For now, I will ignore the obvious dog whistle. That is, that Mr. Vanmeveren considers himself to be a “high-information” voter. His pointing at others as “low-information” could disguise ranking some ethnic or socio-economic groups as “better” than others.

Instead, I question his solution.

Historically, research has shown that liberal candidates are more likely to be elected when there is a high voter turnout. The conservative response to this has been many attempts to restrict voting by groups perceived as liberal such as students and minorities.

Mr. Vanmeveren also advocates for restricting voter turnout, at least to limit those he considers to be unfit to vote.

A more rational and inclusive solution would be to support efforts to inform every one of the issues, candidates’ positions, and potential ramifications.

Rather than restricting the voter ranks to those Mr. Vanmeveren considers “fit to vote”, we should teach and inform everyone.

Democracy takes work, but that work should be aimed at increasing the number of voters, and increasing the number of informed voters, but not aimed at insuring that only those who think like Mr. Vanmeveren are voting.

Harold Shuckhart



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