New York has a voting problem. Maybe the only people who don’t think so are politicians who don’t want certain voters to vote. It’s the same problem that has kept state legislators clinging to whatever power they can wield over redistricting: politicians can choose their voters, rather than citizens choosing their leaders. It’s nothing less than a challenge to democracy in the state. In New York, fewer eligible voters register and fewer registered voters cast ballots than elsewhere. … Why, it’s fair to wonder, would lawmakers resist making voting as convenient as possible for all citizens? The most generous answer would be cluelessness — that some of these part-time lawmakers making what many New Yorkers would consider a nice full-time salary don’t know what it’s like to juggle the demands of a single parent household or a two-income family, making it hard for adults to take off what might end up being a few hours to vote.
The less generous answer is that Senate Republicans want to make voting harder for many voters in a state in which enrolled Democrats outnumber Republicans and Conservatives combined more than two-to-one. With people at the lower end of the income scale more likely to be Democrat and more challenged to find time to get to the polls, improvements in turnout would likely benefit Democrats.
So the Republicans’ reluctance seems rational. But it’s not ethical. To manipulate the system, to purposely make it difficult, even by inaction, for certain people to vote, is a violation of their civil rights as sure as any poll tax or literacy test or any other tactic historically used to keep certain groups of people from voting.
Full Article: Editorial: New York’s unlevel field – The Observation Deck.