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Why Is It So Hard to Vote in America?


#1

Why Is It So Hard to Vote in America?

Marissa Marzano

This year is one of the most important elections in recent history. More than 100 million Americans will cast a ballot in November. Yet many voters continue to face obstacles to the ballot box.


#2

Why isn't Election Day a national holiday? The worlds most visible, self-congratulatory, "democracy" has holidays for everything except election day! One might think that would be important to assure open elections, time to vote with enough voting precincts & machines, etc.(read Arizona fraud).

I guess the answer is that's not the way the Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum parties want it! Easier to commit electoral fraud to assure control.......


#4

It should be a day off although it once was that you were given time off to vote.

Assure control? Far too many ordinary people vote... Best not to encourage them.


#5

I think that is true. The two parties are heavily favored by non poor people and are dominated by those who have the leisure time to get involved with party politics. Poor people do not vote much less register to vote ahead of time and go to primaries.


#6

I would also like to see:
-Open primaries
-No-confidence/none-of-the-above option
-national holiday
-public financing, via tax rebate
-paper ballots
-no early voting
-automatic registration via drivers license, or state or military id
-and make those ids free
-review of ballot access (no answer, but we need to prevent party bullying)
-shorter election season
-demand debate per ballot. We have the internet for cryin out loud. Everyone should be debating everyone all the time.


#7

I think the motor vehicle/military IDs leave LOTS of people out.

A national I.D. or Social Security number that secures the right to vote at age 18 seems more universal in application.


#8

The patchwork of caucus/primary structures and rules across the states and territories is most accurately characterized as a shell game, demonstrating voter suppression on a scale far larger than general election suppression.


#9

Don't we already have this "motor voter" system"? And what's with this tying voting to car ownership anyway? Believe it or not, a lot of people don't have cars or even drivers licenses. When I recently re-registered on the internet so I can vote in the democratic primary, I was required to provide a driver's license number. The instructions stated that using ones SSN instead would result in delays.

Why don't we do what just about every other country does such as Canada. Every person who is a legal citizen is automatically "registered" can simply go and vote. Their polling place is determined by the address on their last tax return and a reminder of their polling place is sent to the new address.

As others mentioned, we can also simply move election day to Sunday as it is in other parts of the world.


#10

However, there are a lot of democratic systems that work a lot better than ours and they have no primary elections at all. The parties pick their candidates internally. Primaries are a uniquely USAn thing as far as I know.

Then again, they also have several to more than as dozen viable parties to choose from and no onerous ballot access requirements (such as requiring petitions with thousands of signatures).


#11

The 2 main types of ID are Driver's License, State ID and Military ID. Not sure about a Medicare ID. These 3 are usually interchangeable on most government forms. I have no problem with mandated id's, as long as it is free (since 'mandatory') and accessible (properly allocated locations, with accessible hours, like 6am-9pm. Post offices and DMV's?). With SS, there is no photo or address. And with Addressed cards, there should be some sensibility as to up to date addresses, when someone moves. There are also homeless 'certification', at least in Chicago, but it would be nice to have a State ID for that (non-addressed).

That's just for living. For voting, just automatic registration. Here in Chicago you don't need id's or proof of address.

Follow up... what about ideas on rotating state primaries?, say divide the country into 4 regions, 1 from each region for each primary day, for 13 primary days, and alternate states each year. Or make everyone vote on the same day. good and bad for either plan...


#12

That last sentence is a howler, but it doesn't detract from the eminent righteousness of the remainder.

Of course, not being able to vote is only half the equation.

Not having someone or something truly worth voting for is just as much a diminution of democracy.


#13

In Washington State, we mail in our ballots...no waiting in line, rainy days, etc