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Tags: Trump Administration | buckley | early voting | danger | gizzi

William Buckley Foresaw Danger of Easy Voting

William Buckley Foresaw Danger of Easy Voting

 (Getty Images)

By    |   Sunday, 06 November 2016 06:15 PM

37 million Americans have already voted. That is roughly one-third of the total number of Americans who will cast ballots in elections November 8.

In Florida, for example, more than 6.1 million voters voted early in person or by mail. Democrats comprise roughly 39.6 percent of these voters, compared to 39 percent for Republicans.

In North Carolina, 3.1 million voters have voted before November 8, with Democrats at 41.7 percent of the total, Republicans 31.9 percent, and unaffiliated voters 26.1 percent.

These "early voters" have taken advantage of laws in 38 states that permit voting at certain hours in the days preceding Election Day. Freed from facing the discouraging prospect of a time-consuming wait in line at the polls, the argument goes, people who might just pass on their right to vote will be more inclined to exercise that right.

But this raises the argument of whether the proposition that everyone should vote has merit.

One who argued that it did not was the late William F. Buckley, Jr., founder and editor of National Review and a towering figure in modern conservatism.

"I do not believe that everyone should vote," Buckley wrote in a syndicated column on February 18, 1964, "Everyone should have the right to vote whose record of accomplishments more or less suggest that he attaches an importance to the vote that goes beyond his immediate self-interests."

Because of the growth of the U.S. government, he argued, "[we] have entered into a welfarist society."

"In such a society, it seems to me," Buckley wrote, "[one] who casts his vote should be encouraged, by whatever mechanical means are at society's disposal, to weigh the consequences of his vote."

As a result, Buckley believed in "all routine, ceremonial impediments to voting, inasmuch as they have the effect of turning the attention of the voter to the awesomeness of the ritual he was about to perform."

Means of making voting easier, he argued, "Are tilting us further along in the direction of a thoughtless democracy in which people are increasingly encouraged to vote for the sake of voting."

Almost foreseeing "early voting," Buckley warned that "the next step, of course, will be to deplore the undemocratic inconveniences involved in going all the way to the public booth to cast the vote. At that point, no doubt, AT&T will no doubt come to the rescue, and will contrive a system by which we can all vote over the telephone." 
 

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Politics
37 million Americans have already voted.That is roughly one-third of the total number of Americans who will cast ballots in elections November 8. In Florida, for example, more than 6.1 million voters voted early in person or by mail.Democrats comprise roughly 39.6 percent...
buckley, early voting, danger, gizzi
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2016-15-06
Sunday, 06 November 2016 06:15 PM
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