"If you have to stop people voting to win elections, your ideas suck."
That's what Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery, Delaware) said Wednesday morning at a news conference about the state's new voter-identification law, Philadelphia Weekly's blog 'PhillyNow' reported. And that's what drew the attention of thousands of Reddit.com users nationwide, when the story was shortly posted on that social news website, headlined with that quote.
More than 1.5 million people read Reddit's politics page, or "subreddit", according to the site's statistics. The story featuring Leach become popular enough to at one point reach the page's top spot.
Reddit users click 'up' and 'down' arrows on posts they like or dislike, and the running vote totals are used to automatically organize page hierarchy. As of Thursday night, the Leach story had gotten 8,130 upvotes, 5,847 downvotes and 1,487 comments.
All of that was foreign to Leach when his staff told him how much traction the story had gained on the site. The state senator was not very familiar with Reddit, he told Patch in a phone interview Thursday.
"I've gotten a few emails from people saying, 'Congratulations for being on Reddit,'" Leach said, joking, "I don't know why I'm being congratulated ... it's my understanding I haven't won anything."
Unsurprisingly, the maelstrom of political opinion resulting from Thursday's Supreme Court ruling on national health care pushed the Leach story rather far down the page at Reddit Politics. Still, the senator said, he's glad for the voter-ID debate to get national exposure.
"It certainly started a good discussion," Leach said. Voter-identification policy, he added, "is not just a Pennsylvania issue."
The senator and his staff are looking into the possibility of conducting a live Q&A with Reddit users, he said.