Voting? You have to really want it, Republicans say

Not that we needed more evidence of the polarized politics of America, but Pew Research reveals today that Democrats and Republicans can’t even agree on whether it should be easy to vote.

We’re not talking about voter fraud and perceived loopholes in the voter registration process so much as the issue of convenience.

It’s not enough to be able to vote, the Republicans seem to suggest. You have to show you really want to vote.

Here’s the poll’s bottom line:

Views about ease of access to voting also differ by age and by race and ethnicity. About seven-in-ten (71%) adults under age 30 believe that everything possible should be done to make it easy for every citizen to vote, while only about a quarter (27%) say that citizens should have to prove they want to vote by registering ahead of time. Although a majority of adults 30 and older (56%) also support making it easy for citizens to vote, roughly four-in-ten (42%) think citizens should have to register in advance.

Blacks are more likely than either whites or Hispanics to say voting should be made as easy as possible for citizens: 79% of blacks say this, while just 19% say citizens should have to prove they really want to vote by registering ahead of time. Among whites, a much narrower majority (54%) support making voting as easy as possible for all citizens (44% say citizens should prove they want to vote by registering ahead of time). By 64%-35%, most Hispanics support taking steps to make voting easy for all citizens.

There is one area of agreement between the warring factions: Few people think voting should be mandatory.

Far more curious perhaps, is the percentage of people who don’t seem to think individual rights are all that important.