Voting Should Be More Difficult

I’m against making it easier to vote by creating systems where people can perform this particular duty as easy as ordering junk on Amazon.

My position is not one born of the past 24 hours, it is one I have considered for a long time, the last few hours was just the proverbial poke in the eye with a sharp stick. A wake-up call as it were.

It’s not that I want to disenfranchise people or make it so laborious as to be nearly impossible, no one should be forced to run a gauntlet – but it is my lifelong observation that the less personal cost there is to a thing, the less value the person accords it. Look at how we, as a society, treat such things – the roadsides and streets are covered with trash from things that were free or inconsequentially costly items. Nobody would throw away a Wedgwood china tea cup, a Riedel or Waterford wine glass – but who thinks twice about tossing away a paper or Styrofoam coffee cup?

Easy come, easy go, one might opine.

I think Publisher’s Clearing House-like, mail-out/mail-in voting cheapens the voting process and thereby cheapens the votes themselves. Something that requires no effort or thought will be given no effort or thought. I can guarantee there were a significant number of mail-in voters who could not make a case for their positions or even defend the candidate to whom they gave their votes – and yet, a vote cast cavalierly counts the same as one seriously and deliberately considered.

It is, of course, just my opinion, but it is an opinion informed by centuries of observational evidence of real-life situations like free or low cost public housing and propositions like the Tragedy of the Commons. People just don’t care about things in which they don’t have a stake. Not my monkeys, not my circus.

Voters should be required to put forth an effort to vote. It should be a task completed in person, one worthy of consuming the voter’s time and resources – because, quite frankly, people not willing to put forth the effort to vote probably aren’t serious enough to be deciding the fate of a nation, a state, a city – or even a school board or dog catcher.

Elections are not quadrennial episodes of the Masked Singer, Big Brother or Survivor. They are not entertainment or spectator sports – because whether you are concerned about them, they are concerned about you, your family, your neighbors and your fellow citizens. I can guarantee, if you treat them in a trivial manner, they will not reciprocate with equal triviality.

If the 2020 election has shown me anything, it is that for far too many, voting has become an exercise in self-satisfied virtue signalling, a faddish exercise of epic proportions – and we are all the worse off for it.

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