Criminal Justice

Reason Writers on The Alyona Show: Matt Welch Talks Voter Access, Plea Bargaining in America, and Public Attitudes About War

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Last night, Reason Editor in Chief Matt Welch went on The Alyona Show's "Monday Hangover" segment to talk about all of the above for just under 10 minutes:

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  1. Voting is a right of citizenship here but for fuck sake we have to put in a little effort. The internet brings greater access to voter information such as registration status and polling locations. Don’t have the internet? Go to your election bureau, the lines should be short because everyone else is checking online rather than in person.

    Voter ID? Why not. Prove you are who you say you are. Put in a little effort. Just because voter fraud is underreported doesn’t mean it doesn’t take place. We can’t keep designing a consequence-free environment in this country.

    1. Put in a little effort.

      WTF?!

      1. Morning links before noon.

    2. Just because voter fraud is underreported doesn’t mean it doesn’t take place.

      Wrong. Voter fraud is illegal and therefore doesn’t happen. Get your facts straight.

    3. Yes FOE, it’s just a snap for elderly shut ins to get on the internet or slip by the local “election bureau.”

      Lord, the lack of awareness of others situations in this post is incredible.

      1. I can understand concern about voter fraud. For decades when we voted there was really no check on if voters were who they said they were. There didn’t seem to be any problem, but there could have been easily.

        Having said that, in a democracy the entire legitimacy of the enterprise rests on the consent of the ruled. If we take that seriously we should make real efforts to make it easier to vote, not harder, we want as much consent as possible. We should have voter workers go to people’s houses and register the votes. If you want to ask for some ID in the process that would not be unreasonable, but the point is we should want more, not less voting.

        1. we want as much consent as possible.

          And as many times as necessary to get the right person elected.

          1. Like I said, ironically when the government doesn’t provide a neutral way to get all of these folks into the process that means only via partisan GOTV methods will some of them do so. Is that better? WTF?

          2. The FL Supreme Court model: keep recounting until Gore wins.

            1. If Suki actually existed she was likely part of that mob beating on the doors of the county election board in FL. Cuz that’s what fairnes looks like!

        2. I agree that voting should be in some ways easier. Weekend voting would be one change I would make. However, if you make fraudulent voting easier then you are watering down the legitimate will of the people, and it is you who are disenfranchising voters. You, I say!

          1. As noted, that doesn’t seem to be happening much.

            For decades in nearly every state you would just go into your precint and say “I’m John Doe from 555 Fake St” and you’d vote and they would cross you off the list. If there were rampant voter fraud then people would be coming in and finding someone had already voted in their name. That hasn’t been found at all.

            On the other hand we’re pretty sure that these laws keep people from voting that otherwise would.

            1. If there were rampant voter fraud then people would be coming in and finding someone had already voted in their name.

              Not necessarily. It’s not hard to show up at the polling station late, glance at the list of names, and pick one that hasn’t been crossed off. You just pick out all the names of the people who haven’t and weren’t going to vote.

              1. I never got to “glance at the list” when I showed up.

                That might work for showing up late all the time and if you had a glance, but then again a lot of places have volunteers working the polls across the political spectrum, so it’s unlikely it’s rampant.

                But look where you’re at: “it could happen, imagine this!”

                1. But look where you’re at: “it could happen, imagine this!”

                  And look where you’re at: “it doesn’t happen, ever.”

                2. I never got to “glance at the list” when I showed up.

                  Reading upside-down isn’t that hard.

            2. As noted, that doesn’t seem to be happening much.

              As noted, I disagree. It hasn’t been reported much. I’ve had the opportunity to talk with my county’s former election chief, and he tells me there’s a reason that Philadelphia County didn’t want to participate in Pennsylvania’s SURE voter registration system.

              Anecdotal, to be certain, but I believe it to be true.

      2. If they can’t get out to check registration then how are they getting out to vote? No, if there’s one thing old people know how to do, it’s vote.

        1. This might shock you, but in elections there are often volunteers that will come get the elderly voter and take them to the polls. There often is not the same thing for registration.

          Ironically, when that kind of thing does happen it is part of explicitly partisan GOTV efforts. Wouldn’t it be nice if it happened as part of a more neutral process?

          “if there’s one thing old people know how to do, it’s vote.”

          Yes, because if there is a correlation it must mean its true in ALL cases.

          Sheesh.

          1. Those same volunteers could surely get them to where they need to go to register, no?

            1. That’s crazy talk Joe!

  2. Matt, you did very well, considering you were forced to stand your ground while a camera dive-bombed you, but it would have been better if you’d overcome your charming natural modesty to mention you’d written a book. Copies won’t sell themselves you know. Oh, and kudos on being a sharp-dressed man – you’re doing H&R commenters proud

    1. He still needs to refine his shirt/tie color coordination. I’ll also note he is beardless.

      1. Doherty’s beard subsumes all others within a 3 mile radius.

  3. Didn’t you like write a book or something?

  4. IS this Putin approved TV?

    1. In Soviet Union, TV watches YOU.

      1. American Express: Don’t leave home without it.
        Soviet Express: Don’t leave home.

        1. Don’t. Just, don’t.

  5. Welch shilling for ACORN?

  6. Why do you still go on this silly Russian government mouthpiece show?

    Did they promise you a dacha in Bronnitsy?

    1. It actually not bad when they do not discuss Russian domestic politics. You will find that most media are not objective when it comes to covering their home turf, when they cover further abroad it is more watchable.

      1. Yeah, The Alyona Show is better than most news/opinion shows on tv these days. The other shows on RT though, not so much.

  7. Kinda makes you wonder who comes up with all that stuff lol.

    http://www.Getting-Privacy.tk

  8. One thing that we’ve done that has made voter fraud much, much easier than in the past is having the polls open for days or weeks at a time.

    With voting on only one day, a fraudster could only cast so many ballots. With voting open much longer, they have more opportunities, and maintaining security on the ballot box is made exponentially harder.

    Couple that with the ridiculous ease of getting an absentee ballot, and you’ve got a very vulnerable system.

  9. Here’s my plan:

    General election polls are open for one day and one day only. That day is a national holiday. You have to show photo ID to vote.

    Absentee ballots have to be picked up in person. You have to show voter ID to get one.

    Those who can’t travel to register or vote can call a number, and someone will come get them. Since the parties seem to have so much money for GOTV, they get to do the fetching on a first-come first-serve basis.

    1. I like it. After all, if voting is so important to our American way of life why have it on a Tuesday?

      1. After all, if voting is so important to our American way of life why have it on a Tuesday?

        This is seriously the biggest problem with our voting schedule. You want to talk about disenfranchisement? Think of all the productive members of society with kids who struggle to make time on a workday to get to the polling place.

  10. Iran has a deterrent effect?

    Afghanistan was the “graveyard of empires”. Come on.

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