The Electric Commentary

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Rocking the Vote or Annoying the Pedestrian?

After living in Madison for a year I have grown accustomed to being harassed by hippies and preachers and whoever else is trying to shape my view as I walk down State Street. In the past few months a new group has been pissing me off. This new group is larger and more heavily funded than the hippies and the preachers. They are the Rock The Vote Army. I've had more conversations with them than I can stand. You can't walk ten steps without some idiot asking "are you registered to vote yet?" This is an incredibly stupid question because 1. It is none of this idiots business whether or not I choose to vote and 2. IN WISCONSIN YOU CAN REGISTER AT THE POLLS!
"Of course I'm not registered to vote" I reply, "not that its any of your business."
"Are you aware that more people age 18-24 voted for 'American Idol' than in the last presidential election?" they ask.
"I'm 25" I reply. I go on, "How many people within that demographic are informed enough to make an intelligent decision for who would make the best president versus the number of people in that demographic that can make an intelligent decision on the best 'American Idol?'" I continue, "besides, you don't have to register to vote in Wisconsin. You can do it all at once when you show up to vote."
He responds, "uh...."

The worst part is that these people get paid. I think partly from government grants. It's my right to vote or not and it has nothing to do with some shmuck on state street. We sure shouldn't pay them to bother me.


  • Funny you mention this. I just heard on the radio that election commissions in both Madison and Milwaukee have been deluged with thousands of new voter registrations. The assumption is that these "rock the vote" groups have prompted all the new registrations. The catch is that the vast majority of the registrations have not included any of the required identification. In Wisconsin, one only must show identification when he or she registers, not when he or she votes. The Milwaukee election commission has responded, essentially stating that they do not have the time or financial resources to respond to all these incorrectly-filed registrations. Their current solution is to have these people bring identification to the polls with them. But how are the poll volunteers to know who must show ID? Given that the "rock the vote" people should know the law, and given the large number of registrations, this is starting to sound like election fraud. Dig a little deeper, and you'll find the head of one of these Madison groups has been implicated with election fraud in the past (several years ago when she ran for Common Council; she faked her address and eventually had to give up her seat, as she never lived in the district). So while there's certainly a pedestrian annoyance factor at work, there's also quite possibly an even less altruisic motive in play.

    By Blogger Will, at 11:12 PM  

  • I am sitting in my college dorm today trying to get work done. Instead of the silence I normally expect, a cacophony is blaring outside of my window at 12 in the afternoon. I understand college campuses are prime grounds to recruit people to vote, but having a concert in the middle of the afternoon on a campus known for its studious and quiet environment is simply outrageous. I agree that it is my right to choose to vote, so I don't need to hear this bullshit while I am trying to get work done. Props to the author for recognizing this problem 4 years ago.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:13 PM  

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