I just spent a half hour chasing my dog through the snow. No one was out. Nothing was moving. Had this storm hit last Monday night, SW Ohio wouldn’t have had an election.
However, it’s more than just the issue of getting to the polls, it’s a matter of what we do while we’re there. The League of Womens voters can’t afford to do a primary election guide. There is no information on the candidates for each seat other than their name and party affiliation. How would you buy cereal at the store if all it said was “Total” or “Smart Start” on the box and nothing else? The fact that the number two vote getter in a congressional race was blank, says quite a few voters either didn’t know or didn’t care about who their next congressman would be.
In the argument about voting machines and paper ballots, the real argument should be how do we get better turnout and more accurate results, not just about the counting. Our current system of polling places, temporary election poll workers, and various ballot systems doesn’t have to stay the same- we could do what the State of Oregon has done: Vote by mail. I highly recommend you read the whole article but here is an excerpt:
Vote-by-Mail: The Real Winner Is Democracy (washingtonpost.com)
Vote-by-mail is voter-friendly, and high turnout in every vote-by-mail election shows that voters like the convenience. Oregonians receive ballots in the mail two weeks before Election Day, allowing ample time to research issues, review and mark the ballot, and eliminating the need to stand in long lines waiting for a polling booth.
Besides the snow that we have today, I’m still haunted by the e-mail I received on election day where someone randomly voted for me- and then did their homework. Without a real voters guide to go with the ballot process, are we really providing a reliable system for choosing our elected representatives? Think back to the blank cereal boxes, then look at campaign literature, wouldn’t it be an improvement for voters to have the ability to research candidates at home, with time to do their homework, instead of the current system?
While the snow today gave me the impetus to post- the real issue is our current system and the debate over paper or machines is really just a snow job covering up the problems that we’ve created with our marketing driven auction system that has emerged as the standard.
We can’t afford for this to continue as is.