29. October 2004 · Comments Off on Early voting · Categories: General, Politics

The General and I took advantage of early voting in NC and cast our votes for our candidates today. Here are some of my thoughts on the process:

1) I have mixed emotions about voting early. After spending twenty years voting by Absentee (because I maintained residency in one state as I moved around the country with the Air Force), I have really looked forward to heading into the voting booth on Election Day each year I have that opportunity. Early voting at least allowed me the option of voting at my polling place in a booth, but there’s something to be said for having an Election Day (as opposed to an Election Week or Election Month, or whatever we’ve effectively had this year).

I agree with Tony Snow, who wondered whether we have gone overboard in making it so convenient to vote. Voting may be a right, but it’s one that should be taken seriously. I went out of my way while in the military to request Absentee Ballots, to fill them out appropriately, to obtain the appropriate signatures, and to get them in on time. The more “convenient” we make it, the less people will take it seriously. And this doesn’t even touch on how it increases the risk of voter fraud. (Another subject, another day, but #4 below).

I’m not saying that we should deny any eligible citizen the right to vote, but really, it’s just about as convenient as it’s gonna get. Folks should be willing to invest a bit of effort in registering properly, finding out about the candidates and issues, and finding out where and when they can vote. It’s not that hard.

So anyway, I took advantage of this convenience. I’ll try to reconcile whatever moral quandary I have about early voting after the dust has settled.

2) I had the option of voting straight party — that is, touching one button to vote for all Democrat (yeah, right!) or all Republican candidates on the state slate (judicial races and the Presidential race still had to be voted for separately). I was tempted, since I planned to vote straight party, but I guess it’s that convenience thing again. I went through and voted for each candidate individually. It just feels right to me.

3) As I was writing this, we got a campaign phone call. I was able to cut the caller off by saying “We’ve already voted.” I guess this early voting thing isn’t so bad after all.

4) As in earlier elections, neither of us was required to show any form of ID. This continues to disturb me. It was probably my greatest motivation for voting early. In case someone decided to vote in my place, I wanted to have a few days to try to straighten it out. I’m just paranoid that way. I know we don’t have national ID cards, and I know all the reasons why, but really, shouldn’t you be required to prove who you are when you’re doing something so important? At the very least, couldn’t they ask for my voter registration card?

I could go on, but that’s probably enough.

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