JULY 5, 2018 – The major thrust of Councilor Josh Zakim’s plans to make voting easier may not be wise (“Democrats Endorse Zakim for Top State Post,” Jewish Journal, June 7, 2018).
Both my synagogue and my union add registration fees for some of their programs, which are not necessarily needed financially and are not meant to exclude. Their idea is to encourage participation: when people pay for an event, they are less likely to be no-shows. Obviously we can’t charge a fee in the voting process, but by making registration to vote too easy, some may be less invested in the process and thus less likely to actually cast ballots. Personally I remember the pride I felt registering to vote on my 18th birthday, with the next election almost a year away but knowing I’d be able to vote then and always. I’ve never failed to vote since.
Other jurisdictions may have tried some of Zakim’s ideas. Before voting for him, we should see some of their results.
David A. Sherman