“The Right to ‘Mobocracy’”

Henry Olsen reviews Michael Waldman’s book, The Fight to Vote, in the WSJ:

But Mr. Waldman’s partisan perspective on the current voting wars mars the book. He sharply criticizes those who support voter ID laws, contending that their stated motivation—stopping voter fraud—is merely an excuse for denying Democratic-leaning constituencies the ballot. He reserves special ire for the Supreme Court, which in recent years has opposed his views in cases like Citizens United, which ruled that a 1907 congressional ban on corporate contributions to political campaigns was unconstitutional, and Shelby County v. Holder, which overturned Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965—Mr. Waldman uses the word “eviscerated.”

Yet Mr. Waldman’s proposed reforms deserve serious consideration. Reforming felon disenfranchisement laws, for example, is supported by figures on the right and the left. Providing for universally available picture IDs and electronic, picture-enabled voting rolls would be an interesting left-right compromise to address both sides’ concerns. Replacing easy-to-manipulate early absentee voting with strictly supervised in-person balloting is another idea with potential. Mr. Waldman would have better served his readers had he spent more time explaining these smart policy proposals rather than engaging in an anticonservative jeremiad.


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