Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Election Day, 2010

I left the Bolt Hole early this morning and headed south to the Aerie for the sole purpose of casting my vote for senator, congressman, governor and lieutenant governor. The only other "choice" on the ballot was the uncontested race for state representative. When I got to the polling site at noon, I was number 137--a far cry from the numbers that turned out in 2008. (Terry had been there much earlier in the morning as number 27.)

I drove 220 miles to cast that vote. And I'll drive another 220 tomorrow to return to the Bolt Hole.

I hope everyone out there got out to vote today. If you didn't vote, then you've got no right to complain during the next two years. By then, hopefully, you'll have learned your lesson and will be informed enough to make a wise decision in the voting booth.


If you look at elections in other nations, there seems to be a much larger turnout than here int he USA. Much of that has to do with the "National Holiday" atmosphere on election day in many other countries. Here, we strive to make casting a ballot easy in many ways. You can register at the DMV. There are states that allow early voting--days early. There are liberal policies with regards to absentee ballots. And few states bother to ask for any sort of ID when it comes to voting. They certainly ask for far less than needed to purchase tobacco or alcohol. Yet we seem to get less than 50% turnout of the living, breathing, eligible voters. (Speaking of which, we need to get the registration books in order. There are folks who have moved or who have died, who are kept on the books in their old site far too long.)

We, as a nation, have taken this most important right/responsibility for granted. I wold like to see Election Day become a true national holiday. This should be a day on which all businesses, all retail outlets, schools, all non-essential services, close from 8 AM until 8 PM (or when ever the polls close). We need to emphasize the importance of voting. Our entire focus--individually, locally and nationally--should be upon casting a vote. If you want to stay home on this day, fine, do so. You won't be forced to vote any more than you are now. And knock off those early voting dates. All votes (other than absentee ballots--the rules for which need to be tightened) need to be cast on Election Day. That's what it's called, for crying out loud.


While we're at it, let's reduce the number of National Holidays to just four: Memorial Day, the 4th of July, Election Day and Thanksgiving. And treat each one the same way: shut down everything except essential services (and make sure they are truly essential--police, fire, medical).


threecollie said...

I concur on the national holiday thing. Enough already!

Anonymous said...

Don't forget Veteran's Day, too.