Tuesday, January 13, 2004

How to fix the Iowa caucuses

Stuart Buck notes that it's very easy to vote in the Iowa caucuses, which makes all sorts of mischief possible (cough Howard Dean cough). Here he cites Dan Savage's experience (you have to see this) and this concern:
According to The Des Moines Register, only 61,000 Democrats and 86,000 Republicans participated in the Iowa caucuses in 2000. Throw in a bunch of young, energized, devoted volunteers ? like the hordes of Howard Dean supporters I've seen leaving Seattle for Iowa in their hybrid cars over the last couple of weeks ? and, well, you get the picture. In a nine-way contest, even a few hundred out-of-state volunteers willing to show up at caucus sites and impersonate Iowans could distort the outcome on behalf of their candidate.
In closing, Buck notes
Requiring identification would be a great idea. The only problem is that whenever anyone proposes that people should have to show some ID when they vote, Democrats and liberals complain that any such requirement would be 'discriminatory.' Which is why I'm hoping that Dean's supporters do try to vote illegally in Iowa. Maybe that's what it would take for other Democrats to recognize the importance of having an ID requirement. I just can't understand why it should be easier to get away with voting illegally than it is to rent a video from Blockbuster.
He's right - nothing is a problem until it harms the Democrats.

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