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?