Letter: Don't make landlords supply voter cards
Published 9:45 am, Friday, February 1, 2013
Kim Fawcett was my state representative until redistricting, but I still get her emails on what she is working on. I read one of her bills, #6101, and wrote her with my views.
This bill is an example of government piling on businesses with needless regulations that make individuals reluctant to invest in a business. Here is the language in her bill:
"An Act Requiring Landlords To Distribute Voter Registration Cards. That the general statutes be amended to provide that when a landlord executes a lease with a new tenant, such landlord shall be required to provide such tenant with a voter registration card."
She wants the state to require landlords -- private citizens -- to make sure that new tenants have a voter registration card handed to them. What happened to personal responsibility? Since when has the tenant become incapable of taking care of their own obligations? And why place this burden on a privately held business?
We have become a society that is quick to blame others for our failures and shortcomings, and we have governments, both federal and local, that endorse and encourage this behavior. When I relocated to this town, there was nobody there to hold my hand to help me register to vote. And this was before the Internet. I knew where to go. Town Hall.
Dumping this responsibility on landlords (full disclosure: I recently became one) is an unnecessary burden but typical of Democratic thinking. Dump on business. And what happens if the landlord does not provide the cards? Will there be a penalty? Is this a misdemeanor or felony? Will the landlord have an added burden of getting the tenant to acknowledge they received the card? And what if the tenant has an issue with the landlord and uses this new requirement as leverage against the landlord?
Asking private business to perform a task that should be the responsibility of the individual is bad policy and leads to what we always get from laws that are not well thought out: unintended consequences. I encourage you to contact Ms. Fawcett and strongly suggest that she rescind this bad bill and leave the responsibility to register to vote with the voter.