People Need To Get Out More

This is largely based on anecdote (though some U.S. Census data seem to support this), but it seems people don’t move around the U.S. as much as they used to*. Without getting into the reasons why, this is not a good thing. From this article about voting computers, this, at the end, shocked me (boldface mine):

Paper ballots, it should be noted, are not a perfect solution, as New York City voters found out in November, when their two-page ballots jammed the scanners, leading to long lines and wait times. But they are inexpensive, accountable, and intuitive. Except, it seems, for members of Georgia’s Secure, Accessible & Fair Elections Commission. “When I was in Georgia and I met with legislators and election officials and talked to them about using a ballot where you fill in the ovals and then mark it with a pen, or use a ballot-marking device for somebody that is disabled, they didn’t know that that was an option,” Susan Greenhalgh, who is now the policy director of the National Election Defense Coalition, told me. “People literally said to me, ‘Does anybody else in the country do this?’

Um, gulp? This is also something I see a lot in D.C. when it comes to local government. Since most of the ‘certain transients’ don’t get involved, there is a bias towards people who are locals. In politics, many politicians will talk about how they are an ‘Nth’ generation Washingtonian. As far as this native son of the District is concerned, that just means they need to get out more, to spend more time in other places learning how they do things and how they live. Otherwise, you become complacent and are content with the way things have always been done, which, too often, is a bad way of doing things.

*This really seems to have taken off in the last decade or so, if I’m reading the data correctly, but I haven’t done a deep enough dive to say that with certainty.

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2 Responses to People Need To Get Out More

  1. Bern says:

    Voting in a bubble…

  2. JimV says:

    Traveling burns fossil fuels. We need to stay within walking distance more. A lot more. (Says the man who never owned a car and refuses to fly to weddings.) (Okay, it isn’t the top cause of CC/AGW but it’s something like #3 on the list, and it’s something I can do.) (Meanwhile I read blogs by people who live in Washington DC and West Virginia and Florida and Australia, from NYS.)

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