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A Polling System for the 19th Century Lives On

It is time to provide convenience, modernization and economy to voters.

With much of the Northeast devastated by the effects of the horrific Hurricane Sandy, the ability of polling places to operate and for voters to be able to get the polls on Nov. 6 becomes paramount.

These potential problems could have been avoided if states commonly provided more modern, convenient and economical means of casting ballots.

Most government functions can be performed by mail or online, but for voting, most states continue to rely on the 19th century model, generally requiring individuals to appear personally at millions of polling places throughout the nation. Why?

Some states have successfully utilized voting by mail. Why should this not be implemented in other jurisdictions, perhaps in conjunction with Internet voting?  Why should all Americans not be permitted to vote before Election Day and if the concept of in-person voting must be perpetuated, to be able to do so at a location of their choice or to choose to file an absentee ballot without having to provide a reason?

To those who claim that voting by mail or Internet would open the door to fraud, I would ask whether there would likely tbe any more fraud and chicanery than occurs at polling places. I believe that the answer is ‘no’, and that this can be verified by voting officials in a state like Oregon, in which voting is exclusively by mail.

At a time that government entities are starved for revenue and unable to fulfill unrealistic promises that have been made, all the stops must be pulled out to conserve taxpayer dollars and to operate efficiently and in a customer-friendly manner. There is nothing more customer-unfriendly than the polling place model for voting. The voting process should be brought into the 21st century. If not now, when?

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Gerry Kranz November 03, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Orel, I guess a state job and no kids gives you time to pen so much meaningless drivel. http://triblive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/s_558536.html#axzz2BAkL3PkU
Ed M November 03, 2012 at 05:58 PM
I don't mind the drivel, the part that chaps my shorts is Oren ALWAYS presenting his opinion as fact.
Becky Brindle November 03, 2012 at 07:52 PM
I wish we had the opportunity to vote early in Pennsylvania.
Kelly Burgess November 03, 2012 at 08:12 PM
Me too, Becky. It can be difficult for my kids to vote on election day, because of their jobs/school schedules. It would be nice if they could vote the weekend before so they didn't have to jump through hoops -- or even miss voting -- during the week.
dormonter November 03, 2012 at 11:36 PM
Oh please, it is easy to get to the polls. If you are sick or out of town get an absentee ballot. If you're civic duty to get off your arse and vote 1 day every year is too inconvenient, please don't bother.
Suz November 04, 2012 at 01:46 AM
Oh come on. Is that really necessary? I don't agree with everything the guy writes but is it necessary to attack him like this? Who cares where he works and if he does or does not have children is none of your business. Are you forced to read or even comment? Stick to the topic and leave out the personal attacks.

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