Just a comment on process. Where I live, all voting is by mail. It's awesome -- you get a ballot in the mail two weeks before the election, and you get to fill it out in the privacy of your own home, at your own leisure, and send it back in by mail (or if you choose, drop it off at a polling station). It's like NetFlix took over the secretary of state's office!
It's truly the greatest thing ever.
No lines, no hassles, no waiting. All the obstacles to voting are just gone. No worries about child care or having to work. If you don't get your ballot or if there is some trouble with your registration, you find out about it before election day, so you have time to straighten it out.
Better yet, you can actually think about and research your vote before hand. Sure, we all know who we're going to vote for, for President, before we go to the polls. But what about the confusing array of initiatives and down-ticket races? (Apparently we have a Lieutenant Governor! Who knew?) So if you need to google I-985 to find out what it will really do to traffic congestion, you have that opportunity, which you really don't have at the polls (unless you are foresighted enough to research the whole ballot in advance).
And best yet, it is so incredibly inclusive. The turnout of eligible voters in our area is somewhere over 90%, I think. No state with voting in person can boast that kind of participation, and I've got to believe that full participation strengthens the democracy.
The only downside is that it robs election day of its drama. Half the state's already voted, so in most races pollsters can figure out who's won beforehand. But in a marginally close race, the late mail-in returns can drag it out forever. So not as fun. But the convenience so outweighs that factor. If you're reading this post on your blackberry while standing in a six-hour line to vote, maybe you should sponsor an initiative in your state to go to all mail voting...
04 November 2008
Posted by shadowfax at 10:55 AM