Monday, April 21, 2008

Honor and voting in the Keystone State

So you've seen the post referencing that Philadelphia Inquirer article about the uncertainty surrounding the role of women in tomorrow's Pennsylvania primary. But aside from the premise of the article, did anything in it strike you as strange?

Need a minute to see it again? Find it here.

How about this:

Before hearing former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright stump for Clinton at Bryn Mawr College, Sophia Papavizas, 18, a freshman from Arlington, Va., said she was feeling "a change of heart." She voted for Obama in her home-state primary in February, but might switch to Clinton.
Um, so, Sophia plans to vote twice during the primary season -- once in Virginia, once in Pennsylvania?

While Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama spar over votes of Michiganders and Floridians being counted once, Sophia's will apparently count -- both times.

It's a logical leap of faith, but I'll make it for the purposes of this question: Let's assume that our friend Sophia met all registration requirements in both the Commonwealth and the Keystone State.

What does that say, then, about the registration requirements in the Commonwealth and the Keystone State?

What does it say about our patchwork primary system in general?

This question percolates every four years in my native state of Florida, where the proliferation of the availability of the absentee ballot enables a significant number of -- ahem, our Northern friends -- to vote in the presidential election in their home states and again in the Sunshine State. But since the state of Florida has a hard time keeping track of foster children, no one really expects elections officials to be able to take on this behemoth.

The honor system ... Who says it's outdated?