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Can’t vote

I am often shocked when I meet someone who doesn’t vote.  I’ve helped on voter registration drives, I volunteered at the polls one year, I stand outside with signs on Election Day, and I am continually dismayed by the low voter turnout in our local elections.  Yet, here it is October 16, an important election is taking place for the 5th district congressional seat, and I am not going to be able to vote. 

The problem is that I am in Maine, helping out with a family crisis.  I got the call yesterday morning, spent a couple of hours winding up some projects, throwing stuff in my car, and basically preparing for a trip away from home of unknown duration.  Before I set out on the three-hour drive, I made a detour to City Hall to cast my vote.  I showed up in the Elections Office at 12:30 pm, but I was too late.  Absentee ballots had to be in by noon.  So, I was turned away and it got me thinking:  Why does it have to be this hard?  Why can’t I vote at 12:30 pm on the day before the election?  Why can’t we vote by email? (Well, there are probably some big problems with this one).  Why can’t we vote on weekends, or over a period of days, instead of one day?  We complain about low voter turnout, but until we remove some of the barriers to voting, including the one I faced today, then it doesn’t make sense to complain. 

posted in Local Politics | 0 Comments

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