Letters to the Editor: A cynical argument against early voting echoes poll taxes and voter suppression

Early voting
A voter marks his ballot at the San Marcos Community Center in San Diego County on Feb. 29, three days before Election Day on March 3.
(Howard Lipin / San Diego Union-Tribune)
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To the editor: Columnist Jonah Goldberg seems to believe that we should not make it easier to vote. He says that doing so does not “improve the quality” of voters.

Voting is not a privilege to be earned by living up to Goldberg’s standards. It is a right of every citizen of this country, and when we think of rights as commodities that can be devalued, we begin down a slippery slope.

Poll taxes and literacy tests were cynically employed in the past to ensure the quality of voters, but we know that they were tools of exclusion used against the poor and people of color. The long lines on Super Tuesday show us that voter suppression is still alive and well in this country.


Ideally, 100% of citizens would be able to vote, because 100% of citizens will be affected by the outcome.

Scott Ramsey, Camp Hill, Penn.


To the editor: Goldberg blames early voting for effectively disenfranchising citizens whose preferred candidates drop out before Election Day.

The problem isn’t that people voted too early; it’s that they could only support one candidate. An easy fix would be to use approval voting, a method that allows people to cast a vote for all the candidates they support.

Then if one candidate drops out, the voter has already been able to say who else they like.

Michael Ruvinsky, Santa Monica


The writer is board member at the Center for Election Science.