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View Diary: New Legislation Would Help Shorten Voting Lines, Strengthen People’s Ability to Vote (162 comments)

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  •  It should take no longer to vote (19+ / 0-)

    than it takes to check out of Toys R Us on Christmas Eve at 11pm.

    Our nation has changed so much since those long-ago days of an agrarian culture where one had to ride a horse or walk miles to the county seat to vote, people have work schedules that require them to work 12 hours shifts, or work at night, or work and go to school and care for children and family members.

    Time for our voting systems to catch up.

    I do think it would make sense to create legislation that demands that for Federal elections - President, Senate and House races - that no matter what the individual states setup for their state and local races with regards to ID requirements, registration, district and precints allocation of voting machines/ballots/workers, that all Federal level elections in all 50 states have the exact same rules and regulations.

    "We have two parties in this country right now. One party is a center-right party that believes that it is unseemly to let old people die in the streets. And the other party is insane." Charles P Pierce

    by NMRed on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 09:43:23 AM PST

    •  Sometimes it takes people a little bit of (5+ / 0-)

      time to actually vote - like thinking about what they remember about various ballot measures, etc.  That's the part of the project before you get to check out in a retail metaphor.

      In any case, I'm not wild about the idea of the exact same rules across the country because the likelihood that the strict ID requirements would be foisted upon states who haven't gone there yet is pretty high at this point in history.  I don't trust this Congress not to really screw up voting legislation.

      •  Having sample ballots tailored to precinct level (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Amber6541, elwior

        readily available would help with thinking time.  They could be on cheap newsprint.
        Here in MN we have a good list of candidates (with links to websites) at the SoS website, but it's not easy to find.
        MNUnited for all families provided a link to get a customizable, printable ballot that could be sent in for absentee voting: but it's overkill for people voting at the polls and too much info is collected.  They will send reminders to vote, etc.
        But stripped of that, just the system to locate your precinct and print the sample ballot would be very useful.  Doorknockers could hand them out.

        If the sites were well publicized, it would be easier for perple to prepare for their trip to the polls.

        “I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter.” –Blaise Pascal

        by dskoe on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 11:52:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That is one thing I really like about the Absentee (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dskoe, RudiB, elwior

          Ballot, now that I am old enough to qualify for it.  I spend a lot of time researching all of the unfamiliar things like Judges and ballot proposals.

          Mother Teresa: "If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other."

          by Amber6541 on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 11:57:38 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  People could actually fill these out while waiting (0+ / 0-)

        in line to get their names marked on the voting list.  And automate checking people off the voting lists (With open source software - I'm sure you could get a university professor to write something, probably for free, though a modest grant would probably also do the trick).

        I have more faith in CS professors who have spent time thinking about the issue than partisan elected officials (From both parties, actually, but especially Republicans).

    •  It is a glaringly inefficient (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      way to run things, I agree. It has always seemed pretty absurd to me, though. Why, for instance, do we vote on Tuesday?  Because that was traditionally market day, and many people did not travel on Sunday. So that gives you Monday to hitch your wagon to your horse and drive your corn in to market to trade, thus making it convenient for voting.

      It might be that what was convenient for ante-bellum farmers might not still be convenient for us 21st century types, though.

      "YOPP!" --Horton Hears a Who

      by Reepicheep on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 01:05:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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