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kpete Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-24-09 10:40 AM
Original message
Never turn away a voter
Never turn away a voter
Reforms can increase participation with fewer problems

BY JOCELYN F. BENSON February 23, 2009

About 15 minutes before polls closed on Election Day last November, a young woman ran into a northwest Detroit precinct to vote for the first time. She presented a valid driver's license, but a quick search of the statewide voter file showed she was registered to vote at another precinct.

She explained that she was staying with her aunt temporarily in this area of the city. She had worked all day and had not had a chance to get to the polls until now. The poll worker encouraged her to go to the precinct where she was registered. Another offered to give her directions.

But the young woman felt she didn't have time to get there. She left, head down, without casting a vote.

Had this voter lived in a number of other states, she could have cast her ballot at any precinct in her city, and her vote for offices she was clearly entitled to vote for (such as president) would have counted. Instead, she was turned away because of a legal technicality that prevents anyone from casting a ballot outside of her or his precinct.

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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 11:18 PM
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1. what states let you vote out of precinct on election day?
In my state, you can vote out of precinct during early voting, as long as
you are within your own county.

What state lets you vote at any precinct in your city on election day?

How do they account for the voters?

Do these cities use electronic poll books?

We in NC have a big job managing our 2 1/2 week early voting period,
but all early voted ballots are retriveable, so that we can prevent someone from
voting twice.

And it happens. Yes it does. And some people try to go over to the next county and vote after
they finish voting in their home county.

Only because of our retrievable ballots and that out of precinct voting and same day registration
occur during early voting are we able to prevent double voting.

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troubleinwinter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-26-09 12:45 AM
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2. Amazing.
...throughout the state, it was not out of the ordinary for Michigan voters to wait hours to cast their ballots. At one point in Detroit's Beth Eden Baptist Church, hundreds of people stood in line, waiting five hours to vote.

Michigan is one of only a handful of states with restrictions on absentee voting. Unlike most other states, our laws do not allow voters to vote early, vote on the weekend, or vote absentee without having to submit a reason. Voters in states that allow early or "no reason" absentee voting experience fewer bottlenecks and shorter wait times.

...legislation to improve the election process becomes mired in partisan rhetoric. For instance, the state senator who chairs the Senate Campaign and Elections Committee explained her opposition to no-reason absentee voting -- a reform supported by Republicans and Democrats -- by saying that "anything the Democrats want so badly, I am naturally suspicious of and almost always opposed to."

So the Chair of the Senate Campaign and Elections Committee opposes something that would relieve five hour long lines for voters in her state. Amazing.
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