2012 Elections / 2013 Elections / Hampton Roads / Local / National / Politics / Virginia

ICYMI: Those long, unnecessary lines

With the election last week and all that entailed, I didn’t get a chance to write my weekly op-ed for its usual Wednesday publication. I got in done in time for Friday’s paper. In it, I addressed the long lines that voters experienced last Tuesday.

As a political observer, I don’t recall a previous time when the State Board of Elections decided to delay the posting of election results because voters were still in line. Yet, that’s what happened last Tuesday. Virginians were left in the dark for hours about the outcome of votes. (And with the re-design of the SBE website, we still are missing data.)

I agree with David Frum: America’s voting system is a disgrace. And Virginia’s is even worse than that.

Until we have federal voting reform, something I hope the president takes up in his second term, Virginia needs to join the 21st Century and allow no-excuse absentee voting.

There simply is no excuse for not having it.

My column appears in The Virginian-Pilot on Wednesdays (unless something comes up, in which case it’s Thursdays). You can see the columns as they are published here, or navigate to them from the PilotOnline.com homepage by clicking on Opinion and then choosing my name at the bottom of the dropdown list. You can also see the columns by liking my Facebook page. Although my column appears weekly, I am not and have never been an employee of The Virginian-Pilot.

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5 thoughts on “ICYMI: Those long, unnecessary lines

  1. I agree. When I lived in NC you could vote almost a month before hand. You had to go into the registrars office. Show them your id and you would vote and they did not count it till day of election. This was really helpful in my area because there were a lot of elderly. There are a couple of positives for this besides the obvious of it making the election process easier not only for citizens but for the election officials who are having to deal with the long lines. Since the people are going in and showing their id’s it is certainly more secure from voter fraud then the mail in ballot. The policy of having elderly and physically challenged people having to drive to the polling place and a election worker come outside to get their vote is just crazy. I have had neighbors who could not walk , then had to wait in car for extremely long periods and no one came to help them that they finally drove off and did not vote.

    The one thing they don’t need to do which some registrars are pushing is online voting. It has proven to be insecure in every test program that has been considered. There was even an article in the Association of Computer Machinery (ACM) this month as to why the technology currently is not up to the task.

    • In Hampton our elections are in May. I do not think that has much of an impact on if people turn out to vote in the Presidential elections. By that I mean someone who watches local politics and votes for Mayor is also likely to care about the national level and vote for President.

      We did not have a lot of ballot questions this year but some states had many on hot issues that pulled people out to vote who normally would not stand in line. I think this will continue and we need to consider how to make the voting easier on the election officials and the public.

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