Plenty of issues to get out the vote

letter, Daily Local News, 11/8/11

“Telling Americans to Vote, or Else” is a timely article in Sunday’s New York Times by William A. Galston.

You’d think there are already enough “or else’s” to turn out the voters every time. Locally, just think of the declining property tax base, paring back of public services, and threats against public education.

Really, just name your issue, inform yourself about the candidates, and get to the polls.

But in the Nov. 8 “off-year” election (“only” county officials, school boards, municipal boards, judges) by the most optimistic estimates, not more than three in 10 Chester County voters will drag themselves to the polls, even on a nice warm late fall day.

To me, the whole idea of doing what 30 percent of the people say is objectionable and undemocratic.

As Galston’s article points out, mandatory voting (which 31 countries have) would “ease the intense partisan polarization that weakens our capacity for self-government and public trust in our governing institutions.”

Americans poll as less satisfied than usual. But if you want to complain, vote!

This election is your chance to show we don’t need to be forced to do what’s good for us: vote, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.!

Nathaniel Smith
West Chester