Private contributions to shorten voting lines?
A reader makes a point that's obvious once mentioned, but which I haven't seen discussed.
The (mostly Democratic) voters in some poor urban areas face long lines to vote because their local elections departments can't afford enough voting machines. One way to fix that is to switch to optical scanning, where the cost is in the counters and marginal voting station is virtually free.
But taking the technology as fixed, how about private or foundation contributions to simply buy more voting machines? Shortening the voting lines in Columbus would be orders of magnitude more cost-effective than running TV spots, and could probably be done on a tax-deductible basis.
This suggests five questions:
1. Would this be legal?
2. How many of the relevant jurisdictions would accept the money? (In some cases the problem may be state or county officials who don't want inner-city residents to vote.)
3. Is it being done?
4. If so, where do I send my check?
5. If not, who wants to start it up?
I'm on the road and won't be keeping up with my email, so I'm going to experiment by allowing comments.
Well, Mark's comments don't seem to be working, which is unfortunate, since I'd like to know more, and no one reads me... Hopefully he (or someone) follows up. This is what I tried to post over there:
An excellent question (or five), Mark. Makes total sense. And since a good part of the Republican strategy is based on suppression, how would they counter this? By placing more machines in rich, white districts? If this is legal and doable, it would be great...