Sorry, I'm literally having technical difficulties this morning. My computer crashed and lost quite a bit of stuff. I'll get it back up when I get it back up. In the meantime, here's this thought:
Yesterday, @Marvin Schwalb raised an issue that has vexed me, too: what about the millions of Americans who are eligible to vote but don't? So here's a scenario:
It's late on a Thursday afternoon in September 2012. You have just come home from a trip to the local high school where you have been registering 18-year-olds to vote. You get out of your car, pick up the voter registration material -- including new, unused voter registration forms -- and notice your next-door neighbor working in his yard. He waves you over.
Your neighbor is a friendly guy, you like him, but you don't know him well. You've chatted with him over the year or so he's lived there about family, the weather, sporting events. So he asks what you've been up to and you tell him about your afternoon. "Really?" sez he. "Gee, I've never voted. My parents didn't vote either. Just not a family tradition. Besides, I don't follow the news. Never watch it. I barely know who's running for President much less Senator or mayor or whatever." (Nobody is running for mayor -- the mayoral elections are in April.)
Obviously, you have no idea how this guy will vote. There's no family tradition where he might be a "legacy" Democrat or Republican or independent. He's a complete know-nothing.
What do you do? Even if he registers, he probably won't vote. And if he votes, how will he choose candidates? He might vote for the side you don't like, and you care about who gets elected. Do you hand the guy one of those registration forms you're holding? Do you urge him to vote for your guy Joe Blow? Do you promise to take him to the polls?
Or do you decide an uninformed voter is a danger to democracy and switch the topic to the autumnal equinox?