There’s been increasing attention paid to how we’ll all be voting in the 2020 election. Not surprisingly, I have a different perspective on voting than many. There are many things about it I just don’t understand.
Why do we allow early voting?
First, the more time that people have to vote, the more time there is for unsupervised voter fraud. When we were all voting on one day, there was only one day to commit whatever fraud one was intent on committing, and when we voted at the polls, they had to be on site to do it. But with more than a month, there’s plenty of time.
Along with that, there are also so many more variables when there are mail-in ballots, drop boxes and now the possibility of online voting (not yet happening, I realize).
Any student of history or politics knows that a lot can happen in one month. A lot can happen in one day. With early voting, there are people who are voting before all the presidential debates happen. Presidential debates are often significant events in the course of an election, and to have voting before they even happen is wrong.
Plus, who knows what else is going to be revealed about a candidate or what event may happen that illustrates the true competence – or incompetence – of an incumbent or candidate.
If out of 365 days, it is inconvenient for someone to vote, it is probably not important enough to them to do it. In my view, there are way too many people who are voting because they’re being encouraged to – whether by guilt, bribe, peer pressure or otherwise.
Why do we allow any other kind of voting than at the poll booth?
And the single voting day should be standing in line, where every voter can be monitored and people counts will match vote counts. In Washington State, we can’t even stand in line to vote. The excitement of going to the polling booth and taking our kids is gone. Now we fill out a mailed ballot – weeks before the election – and that’s that. It’s hard to make that a momentous and important event for the kids. The civics lesson is seriously blunted.
Absentee voting is also important, but should only be used for those who truly can’t make it to their voting location to vote.
Why do so many people want everyone to vote (especially if voters aren’t going to vote the way the advocate wants)?
In the last week, eulogies during the John Lewis funeral and Shaq, during an NBA game broadcast (to name a few), told everyone to vote. Blindly encouraging everyone to vote has never made sense to me.
If you’re invested in the future of the country at all, would you take a chance registering someone to vote who might have the opposite agenda from you. I’m not going to take my time to try and sign up people who are going to vote against what I believe is right. I’m not going to stop them, but I’m not going to encourage them, either. How does that make sense?
Contrary to popular belief, adults of all ages, economic circumstances, and race are capable of getting an ID and finding their polling place. It’s insulting to think otherwise. There are, of course, exceptions to the rules, but there are ways for those who want to vote to find help.
If voting isn’t on someone’s radar, let it stay off their radar. People can do what they want – including following the relevant news of their own country. If they choose not to follow news and events, I’m fine with them not voting.
If it’s intended as a way to get people involved and paying attention, it’s completely backwards. Only when people start following and taking an interest on their own will they decide to participate in voting. And even then, I don’t think anyone should be out actively registering voters.
People who are invested, engaged and following news and politics closely are probably more inclined to vote – on their own, without encouragement. And anyone who is interested in voting will figure out how to register and complete the process.
If someone is not following or interested in the process, why on earth would any of us want them voting?
People who vote because someone gave them a donut and a ride to the voting booth are just like people who get dragged along to a concert they’re not interested in seeing. They inevitably have some of the best seats, they didn’t have to do anything to get a great ticket they don’t really value, and they talk through the entire show. Those who followed the artist closely for years end up having the show ruined by those who thought it’d be a fun way to spend an evening.
Yes, we should have a test.
I’ve been on the fence of requiring a test to vote for years. It comes with so many questions: Who will write the test, what questions are fair, how will you avoid bias, etc.
But it occurred to me: We have a 10 question test to pass to become a U.S. citizen. It’s not too much to ask that our voters be able to pass it, too. If it’s fair for legal immigrants, it’s certainly fair for people who live here. We should all be able to ace it. But, of course, most wouldn’t pass it.
A lazy Google search reveals a 2018 article from US News, who did a poll that found only 39% of American adults could pass the citizenship test.
And so it goes in American politics. Our representatives are inevitably chosen by people who know nothing about who it is their voting for and what it is the candidates will do. They only know what someone on one side or the other told them as completed their ballot for them.
We have the right to vote, but we also have the right not to vote. Let people exercise their right, let nature take its course, and let the people who took it upon themselves to follow the issues, figure out when election day is and take some time out of their day to vote decide our elections. Let those who aren’t interested or invested in our elections stay home.