Thursday, July 20, 2006

Prospective Disenfranchisement

I was thinking today about my future as a citizen of America. As many of you know, I'm a Maryland native, born and bred in Bethesda, just a few short minutes (and one metro station) away from the District of Columbia. I am a large fan of my hometown as well as the surrounding area: I can definitely see the D.C. metro area as a place I would like to return to settle down and have a family (even my long-standing prejudice against Virginia might fall by the wayside--if that was the only option). But what if I moved to D.C. proper? I'd--and there's no gentle way of putting this--lose my right to vote.

This is a very weird prospect. I suppose some people who grew up inside the D.C. borders are just used to not having a Senator and a Representative and actually voting members of Congress. But I've had elected, voting representatives since the day I was born. I voted in my first primary in Maryland, and now am registered to vote in the state of Minnesota. How odd would it be if I could no longer vote; not because I committed a felony, not because I renounced my citizenship, not because I left the country, but because I moved literally five minutes south-east of my boyhood home and crossed Western Avenue?

The continuing disenfranchisement of D.C. is appalling and completely non-sensical (if the prospect of not allowing born, naturalized U.S. citizens living inside the continental U.S. to vote doesn't cause prima facia disturbance, frequent Debate Link visitor Stentor gives the full takedown of the anti-D.C. voting argument). I hope by the time I'm ready to possibly move back here, it will have become a forgotten footnote of electoral history.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Considering the power of a single vote in elections, I'm not sure holding out for a vote is the most important thing in life.
As a bonus, getting gunned down in DC is probably not that much fun either.