Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Voting Rights Again

Catching up on my DCist reading, I ran across the snippet about a call in to Mark Plotkin suggesting that Ward 3ers lack interest in the voting issue. And so I clicked on the comments. It seems in general people were in agreement that Ward 3 (upper Northwest, running to the Bethesda/Chevy Chase border, and in fact where I grew up) is full of all sorts of people, including *ahem* the shadow reps for DC and so, as with most generalizations, it's pretty stupid. But then I saw some other stuff.
Let me start by saying that while I favor voting rights, I accept that there are a range of viewpoints on this issue. Some favor territory status, similar to Puerto Rico, where DC would not get voting representation in Congress, but would also not be subject to federal taxes. I'm okay with that too. What annoys me are comments to the effect that until DC gets its act together it doesn't deserve voting rights. Because here's the thing. No other place in this country has to do anything to "deserve" voting rights. They just have them. Other cities, towns and states have corrupt or failing government, budget issues, problems with the schools and so on. There is no point at which their failure to provide these things, correct their problems, or anything else subjects them to an audit as to their voting status.