A return to common sense : seven bold ways to revitalize by Michael Waldman

By Michael Waldman

A go back to logic is a passionate demand switch, a street map for restoring the imaginative and prescient of the Founding Fathers and renewing the good spirit of the United States the place the folk run the govt. and the govt works for the people.

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Unsurprisingly, the dragnet sweeps up many citizens who are in fact eligible. In 2000, Florida hired a private company to scrub the voter rolls. In all, 58,000 voters were targeted for removal. 49 Although a few Florida counties diligently investigated the names passed along by the state, many simply got the list and made the purge without asking questions. ”50 Of course, given the state’s 537-vote margin that decided the presidency, that “glitch” looked like a landslide. Secret purges are ripe for partisan mischief.

Qxd:ReturnToCommonSense 12 5/1/08 3:33 PM Page 12 A RETURN TO COMMON SENSE functioning democracy. We don’t ask litigants to rustle up a jury pool. We should also see government as having the prime role in creating an accurate list of who can vote, too. 22 Universal registration could be achieved several different ways. One plan, possibly the best, would have the government create a new, universal voter list. In Canada, for example, the federal government built a permanent national voter register in 1997 by going door to door to find voters.

Montana passed it in 2006, in time for the midterm election; Iowa followed the next year. Nearly 4,000 Montanans registered on Election Day, more than the margin of victory for new Senator Jon Tester. In 2007, North Carolina instituted “same day” registration—voters can register any day during the early voting period two weeks before Election Day (but not the day itself). Election Day registration (EDR) turbocharges turnout. Most estimates show it boosts voting by 5 to 7 percent. 27 In addition, allowing voters to register while casting a ballot simply sweeps away many bureaucratic cobwebs associated with voter lists.

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