Voting booths await voters in Red Oak, Iowa, Tuesday, June 3, 2014, ahead of the Iowa primary elections.
Nati Harnik/AP

Self-disenfranchisement is a very bad idea

Donald Trump, with the help of some of the nation’s most aggressive voter-suppression pioneers, is moving forward with a ridiculous “voter-integrity” commission, seeking full voter rolls from every state in the nation. So far, the effort is off to an awful start, with many states nationwide – including officials from red and blue states – telling the White House’s panel to go away.

But there’s apparently a new problem: some voters, who don’t want Trump World to have their personal information, are withdrawing from the system. BuzzFeed reported:

As of Friday, 46 states had refused to fully cooperate with the commission’s request, but Colorado, a state that had agreed to turn in publicly available information, had seen people looking to withdraw their information completely from their voter systems.

“What we’re hearing from voters is that they are concerned with the commission,” Haley McKean, a spokeswoman for the Arapahoe County Clerk in Colorado, told BuzzFeed News. McKean said at least 160 people had withdrawn their information in the county since the start of July and that “dozens” of others had changed their information to confidential.

“Colorado prides itself on its voter registration and its voter turnout,” Lynn Bartels, communications director for Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, told BuzzFeed News. “The idea that people are withdrawing their registration, even if it’s just temporary, is not news we want to hear.”

It’s hard to say whether this is an isolated development, or if similar incidents have popped up in other areas. Either way, for the record, let’s make something clear: self-disenfranchisement is a very bad idea.

The point of far-right voter-suppression campaigns is to discourage participation, limit voters’ access, and make it harder for progressive-minded Americans to cast a ballot. When Trump critics withdraw from the system, they’re making things easier for their opponents

Or put another way, if Trump World is trying to suppress the vote, there’s no point in anti-Trump voters suppressing themselves voluntarily.