The eligibility to vote must be airtight

  • Article by: ANDY CILEK and RON KAUS
  • Updated: August 5, 2012 - 8:08 PM

Our case over competence seeks to square the law with the Constitution.

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mcjoe1Aug. 5, 12 8:36 PM

The "Minnesota Voters Alliance" should have its title changed to "Minnesotans to Disenfranchise the Poor, Elderly, and Mentally Challenged." Sure people under constant care provided by social welfare are extremely likely to vote DFL - they're voting to protect their interests. It's nothing different from greedy rich folks voting GOP because it's the party that'll never raise their taxes.

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chuckdancerAug. 5, 12 8:44 PM

...""Mentally competent" means that a person needs to know the nature and effect of his vote. "...************************************* ******************************************** These people would be held to a higher standard than anyone else.

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jrspacemanAug. 5, 12 9:15 PM

"Mentally competent" means that a person needs to know the nature and effect of his vote.

The issue with that is many people who consider themselves to be normal have no real idea what the effect of their vote would be. For some they are voting on a single issue, like abortion rights, and don't pay any attention at all to the position of their candidate on other issues. Others vote strictly along party lines, but don't really know what the party platform is or how the candidate stands on that platform.

Too many people vote blindly using information that isn't always reliable, but seems to go in the general direction of what they'd like to have done. They vote as a mentally incompetent person would vote, but don't consider themselves to be that way.

Taking away a persons right to vote because you think they might not understand who/what they are voting for is hypocritical. Unless you are well informed and use reliable sources, you too are ignorant of the nature and effect of your vote. That's why you would be a hypocrite for saying that someone else can't vote for the same reason.

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owatonnabillAug. 5, 12 9:43 PM

Heh. I had a colleague at work (educated, degreed, licensed) vote for Bill Clinton "because he's so CUUUUUUUUUUUUTE!". So I guess mental competency is all in how it is interpreted. Nevertheless, it is a useless discussion. D'ya really want to assure that "competency" is not an issue? Simple. Just mandate that anyone who gets more FROM the system in any one year (EBT, Section 8, GRH, Medical Assistance, whatever) Than they pay TO the system in taxes during the same year, doesn't get to vote the following year. Simple. It removes competency from the equation and replaces it with dependency. A far better criterion, in Owatonnabill's opinion.

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pdxtranAug. 5, 1210:23 PM

owatonnabill: You're obviously making this proposal because you believe that only "dependents" vote Democratic. What a stupid AM radio stereotype that is!

Your proposal could disenfranchise YOU if you suffered some sort of misfortune. We are all one drunk driver away from total disability. We are all one corporate buyout away from long-term unemployment. Furthermore, your proposal would disenfranchise most Social Security recipients, some of whom are combat veterans.

If only affluent people are worthy of voting, why don't we just give up on this idea of elections and have all political decisions made in the country club bars or corporate executive dining rooms?

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pumiceAug. 5, 1211:01 PM

Here's a suggestion: Remove competency from the equation and replace it with referring to oneself in the third person.

Here's another suggestion: Instead of working so diligently to make voting more difficult and to trim the voting rolls, the Minnesota Voters Alliance and the Minnesota Freedom Council should consider informing voters and encouraging a larger percentage of Americans to exercise their right to vote. Democracy is a participatory form of government.

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owatonnabillAug. 6, 12 5:40 AM

"Your proposal could disenfranchise YOU if you suffered some sort of misfortune. We are all one drunk driver away from total disability. We are all one corporate buyout away from long-term unemployment. Furthermore, your proposal would disenfranchise most Social Security recipients, some of whom are combat veterans." ...................... Actually, no--Social Security, along with Medicare, Unemployment Insurance, etc. are insurance programs that get paid into during a person's work life. Collecting a benefit planned for and invested into is a far cry from welching off the system for whatever reason. We can presume competency on the part of any one who is making their own way--and I know some people with IQs of 70 or less who ARE making their own way, so they would be eligible to vote as well. But be that as it may--yes. There would be a chance that Owatonnabill would spend a year or two not voting. Things happen. But as Benjamin Franklin said, "When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic." Owatonnabill as the tail has no more right than anyone else to wag the dog, as it were, whatever the circumstances of his receiving welfare assistance. Old Ben was spot on.

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gcrileyAug. 6, 12 6:00 AM

Has anyone else noticed that the groups with names like "xxx for freedom" always have an agenda that restricts something for a group of people?

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liora51Aug. 6, 12 6:43 AM

How is it different for a woman to vote for Clinton because he is cute from a male relative of mine to vote for GW Bush because he seemed like "an average Joe you could have a beer with?" For that matter, given the number of non-disabled, non-dependent eligible voters who choose not to exercise their right--and I say it again--their RIGHT to vote, how can you claim that a vote by a citizen with dubious understanding cancels the vote of a "qualified" voter? For every eligible voter who doesn't vote it is a moot point.

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sanitypleaseAug. 6, 12 7:20 AM

Wow, the repubs have reached a new low. If mental competency is an issue for voters, does that mean people who are not mentally competent can't run for office either? I can think of one person in the news all the time who many people question her mental competency.

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