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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Huckleberries Online

Why isn’t voting mandatory, like taxes?

Writing for the Lewiston Tribune editorial page, Bill Hall columnizes:

Every autumn in Idaho, Sharon and I receive a friendly letter reminding us to pay our property tax. We do that without whining. We like living here and we pay our dues. So each year, we hand over the check and thank the courthouse personnel for all the sweat and service they have provided in looking after the money that keeps our community humming.

If you have to pay your taxes (and you do), only a monumental tightwad would snarl at the friendly clerks. Taxes are the financial support for everything from a fire department to a police force to schools for our wee ones, not to mention repairing pot holes.

So we hand over our tax payments and gain another charming chance to enjoy a chat with the ladies behind the courthouse counter. If you want to get huffy about your taxes, go find a county commissioner to yell at, but don't be a bully to the hired help.

We also enjoy a generous annual tradition by the clerks. Writing a large tax check can make your hand tremble and your eyes water, but the clerks calm us by putting out a small dish of hard candy as their thanks to us, the taxpayers. There is some symbolism in that candy dish when it comes time to pay our dues. A little bit of sugar makes the medicine go down.

However, I have a question on another topic: If the tax we owe is mandatory, then why isn't voting also mandatory? More here.

Question: Isn't the whole point of the closed GOP primary to limit the amount of people voting, so the ideologues can pick the winners? Why would the ruling party want more people to vote?

D.F. Oliveria
D.F. (Dave) Oliveria joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a columnist and compiles the Huckleberries Online blog and writes about North Idaho in his Huckleberries column.

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