A vigorous democracy depends on the involvement of voters, and higher voter participation is a goal worth working toward. Jeff Jacoby’s suggesting otherwise is nonsense (“Why should we beg anyone to vote?” Op-ed, Aug. 12). Worse are Jacoby’s misleading arguments about voter “chicanery.”
This month a national study on alleged election fraud by News21, a project funded by the Carnegie Corporation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and based at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, reported that the incidence of fraud in the past 12 years was infinitesimally small, about one verified case for every 15 million prospective voters.
Low voter registration and turnout rates in many elections are troubling symptoms of a public that is either ignorant, apathetic, or cynical about the impact their votes can have on the quality of governance affecting their lives. It is a civic dilemma we all should be working on.
Disparaging efforts to boost voter participation smacks of exclusivity and elitism, and is an insult to the core values upon which this country was founded.