Thursday, July 19, 2018

Voting Rant (June 11, 2018)

When I lived in Washington, I would receive ballots in the mail from time-to-time, and could vote by opening the envelope, filling out the ballot, and returning it by mail or to one of numerous drop-boxes around town. If I needed to research a race to figure out how to vote, I had plenty of time and resources available--including a detailed voter's guide that came with each ballot. I certainly did not need to worry about finding my polling place, figuring out a time of day to vote, making sure I had proper ID, or any of that nonsense.

Now I live in Virginia, which has primary elections tomorrow. I did not know about them until today. I had to look up my polling place on-line. In the course of doing that I discovered that I will need to present photo ID to receive a ballot. In 15 minutes of internet searching I was not successful in figuring out which races and candidates will be on my ballot. I will need to probably vote after dropping my daughter off at school--and thus arrive late to my office.

These are all minor annoyances to me. I have a post-graduate education and professional career. But lots of other Virginians will not learn about the primaries in time to plan for them, do not have the option of simply showing up late for work because they went to the polls, or may be turned away at the polls because they failed to register in time, didn't bring proper ID, or went to the wrong polling place. I do not find this acceptable and nobody else who believes in democracy should either.

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