<b>The Groucho primary</b>

EDITOR: Perhaps Groucho Marx was thinking of American voters when he said, "As for ignorance and apathy, I don't know and I don't care" ("Confronting the problem of voter apathy," Editorial, Sunday).

While many countries require their citizens to vote, increasingly disengaged and disaffected Americans are less and less likely to participate in our democracy.

However, forcing Americans to vote may fall into the aphoristic category of "be(ing) careful what you wish for." In a culture where the average person can name every member of the Kardashian family but would struggle to identify his or her representative in Washington, one has to wonder how many Americans are even minimally qualified to vote. Given a choice between voter apathy and large numbers of uninformed voters being compelled to go to the polls, I'll take apathy every time.

That being said, here are some suggestions that might increase voter participation:

Move elections to Saturdays or Sundays.

Prohibit robocalls; they only succeed in making people angry.

Limit the length of campaigns to 30 days for local elections, 60 for statewide contests and 90 for national candidates. We are saturated with never-ending campaigns that clearly fail to accomplish their purported purpose.


Santa Rosa