Monday, October 16, 2006

Proposition 205: An inivtation to mischief.

I was initially in favor of Proposition 205, thinking it to increase the likelihood of informed voting by affording the voter time to, at his leisure, sit down with the ballot and study candidates, ballot questions, and issues.

Having seen how poorly Maricopa County handled paper ballots and how much mail theft goes on in Arizona, and having given further thought to the potential for tampering or vote-buying, I've concluded that the potential for mishaps and shenanigans outweighs the hypothetical benefit of a slightly more educated electorate.

Furthermore, this measure doesn't afford the voter any more options than he already has; request for a mail ballot is a simple procedure. Whether or not this increases the cost of conducting an election is something to which I cannot speak, although if I had to guess I'd say it's more expensive. It's certainly more wasteful, to send millions of pieces of mail, over half of which will not be used. It may also serve to corrupt or compound corruption of the electoral process by making it easier for those who wouldn't give enough of a damn about the issues to either request a mail ballot or go to the polls to nonetheless cast votes, or to be paid for their vote by unscrupulous activists. However, unlike Osterloh's Lottery, it doesn't provide an outright incentive for voting for voting's sake.

I'm voting against Proposition 205. Simultaneous to addressing a nonexistent problem, it
opens the door to mischief.

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