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An Unacceptable Voting System and America’s Federalism Fetish


This is the kind of thing that gets Frum excluded from the Republican gravy train, even if he throws a bone to the “voter fraud” crowd:

In any other democracy, voters nationwide would have cast their votes on the same kind of balloting equipment, subject to the same rules.

The parties would have had a minimal role in supervising the election, and certainly would not have been allowed to ask for rule changes as the vote occurred.

The voting would have been overseen by a national election commission, not by local judges, who might be nonpartisan — but who very well might not.

Americans worry more about voter fraud than do voters in other countries, because they are the only country without a reliable system of national identification.

In no other country, including federal systems such as Germany, Canada and Australia, does the citizen’s opportunity to vote depend on the affluence and competence of his or her local government.

In every other democracy, the vote is the means by which the people choose between the competing political parties — not one more weapon by which the parties compete.

The broken American voting system is a particularly bad outgrowth of America’s federalism fetish. There’s no “local expertise” that’s valuable in terms of accurate vote counting — all it accomplishes is to make it harder to vote and in particular to exclude less powerful people from the vote. Decentralization was absolutely essential to the systematic disenfranchisement of African-Americans for a century after the 15th Amendment, and the ghosts linger.

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