Thursday, September 09, 2004

Double Voting Parallels Problem With Out-of-State Donors

Greg Reeves has an interesting piece in the Kansas City Star about people crossing state lines to vote in both Kansas and Missouri elections, a state and potentially federal crime. It seems pretty obvious that voting twice violates both the tenets of federalism and the One Person One Vote principle upon which democracy is founded.

So why do we allow huge contributions to candidates from out-of-staters? Wonks and whacks and lawyers for wealthy folks will tell you the First Amendment means that wealthy out-of-staters can give as much as they want to a candidate, regardless of how that distorts the political process, regardless of how that affects the voting rights of in-state citizens, regardless of how that conflicts with our federal system of elections.

Sometimes it's easy to lose track of an argument as we run down every twist and turn, especially when it comes to campaign finance reform. But if a person voting in the same election in two separate states seems downright wrong to us, maybe allowing a person from one state to influence an election in another state with thousands of dollars in contributions is just as wrong.

Maybe it's just that simple.

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