Why Do We Want Uninformed, Unmotivated People To Vote?

In Ridgway Colorado they’re proposing mandatory voting:

Residents of this Old West- meets-New Age town can be fined if their fences are too high, they have too many chickens, their dogs aren’t on leashes or their weeds are out of control.

Tom Hennessy would like to add not voting to that list.

Hennessy, a popular Ridgway brewer and pub owner, is proposing that the mostly dirt-street town at the edge of the San Juan Mountains become a national model by enacting a mandatory-voting statute. Residents who don’t bother to vote, for no good reason, would be fined.

“We could do this. It would be a paradigm shift,” Hennessy said. “We could be the great civics lesson in representative democracy.”

The Town Council agreed to put the matter on the ballot for a recent town election as a nonbinding opinion question.

A letter to the editor of the Ridgway Sun quickly followed. Nonvoting resident Eric Sanford wrote that he would enjoy “the privilege of being the first to file a lawsuit against the Town of Ridgway and individual members of the Town Council.”

This sort of attitude isn’t unusual. It’s exactly what South Park was making fun of in their “Vote or Die” episode (Language warning):

Why do we want people who don’t know who the Vice-President is to vote? How about felons? People who aren’t sure which party is anti-abortion? People who vote based on which candidate is taller? Women who haven’t looked at the news in 5 years? Men in insane asylums? Old people who still think Nixon is President? Young people who’ve played video games for 14 hours a day for the last year?

In all honesty, we’d be better off if less people voted. If the only people voting were well informed, highly motivated people who paid income taxes, I guarantee you we’d have a much better government and a much better country. So, if you don’t follow the news and you don’t really care much about the issues or who wins, the country would be better off if people like you didn’t vote.

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