BARACK OBAMA'S superior get-out-the-vote operation spared the country from another squeaker presidential election, with the claims of voter fraud and intimidation that have become so familiar in the previous two cycles. But that doesn't mean the problems in the nation's electoral system have disappeared. They're just not as visible at high tide.It's true that the voter system isn't up to snuff for the close elections we've been turning out lately, although it would be more accurate to credit the financial meltdown with Barack's victory margin - but I'm nitpicking. What's funny about the Globe position, and demonstrates the paper's maliciousness, is what they think the real problem is - lack of access to the polls.
After the 2000 election made the United States look like something out of a Marx Brothers movie, former presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter co-chaired a National Election Commission. Their report concluded that the country has one of the most burdensome voter registration systems - and one of the lowest participation rates - in the developed world. Even with the Obama wave, voter turnout this year was only about 61 percent of registered voters.Huh? Burdensome voter registration? You have to fill out a form and attest to your residency - that's a world class burden?
One simple change would solve several problems that have bedeviled recent national elections: universal voter registration. Under this plan, promoted by the watchdog Brennan Center for Justice and others, the government would be responsible for automatically registering citizens when they turn 18.I have a better idea. Why not automatically register all voters at age 18, and then automatically submit a vote on their behalf in favor of the Democratic candidate? That way, only Republicans would have to show up at the polls to alter their auto-vote. This would be the green solution, helping to curb global warming by keeping people off the roads. And it would lead to good government, as only Democrats would win elections.
Change is hard to accept for a Congress that, after all, got elected under the current registration system. But any technical or political obstacles pale in comparison with another election marred by fears of ballot-stuffing, voter suppression, and undermined confidence in democracy.Not so hard to shift to a system that favors Democrats for a Congress controlled by Democrats.