No One in America Should Have to Wait 7 Hours to Vote

From The Atlantic:

No matter who wins the presidential race, no matter which party controls Congress, can we at least agree as reasonable adults that when it comes to voting itself the election of 2012 is a national disgrace? We ask our sons and daughters, our husbands and wives, to give their lives abroad for noble concepts like “freedom” and “democracy.” And yet we are content as a nation, and as a people, to tolerate another cycle of election rules that require our fellow citizens to sacrifice a measure of basic human dignity simply to exercise their right to vote.

For example, what happened this weekend in Florida is simply unacceptable. According to a local election official interviewed by CBS News’ Phil Hirschkorn, the last “early voter” in line for Saturday’s truncated early voting in Palm Beach County finally got to cast a ballot at 2:30 a.m Sunday morning, which means that voter waited in line for more than seven hours. In Miami, another traditional Democratic stronghold, the wait was said to be nearly as long. On Sunday, voters all over the state were begging judges and county officials for more time to vote.

This is happening not because of a natural disaster or breakdown in machinery. It is happening by partisan design. Alarmed by the strong Democratic turnout in early voting in 2008, Republican lawmakers, including Governor Rick Scott, reduced the number of early voting days from 14 to eight. When the restrictions were challenged in federal court under the Voting Rights Act, a three-judge panel said they would have a discriminatory impact upon minority voters. But only five of the state’s 67 counties are covered by the federal civil rights law.

When the remaining restrictions were challenged in federal court, a George W. Bush appointee said there was no proof that the reduced hours would “impermissibly burden” minority voters. How many hours in line must a Florida voter wait before the burden upon her becomes an “impermissible” one? If Florida’s election officials, and its Republican lawmakers, and its state and federal judges, all were required to stand in line for seven hours to vote those long lines would go away forever. You know it, I know it, and so do those officials.

Comments

6 Comments so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. Angry Sam,

    Take it from us in Washington: mail-in/drop-off ballots are magic. There is absolutely no good reason not to do this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

    • I miss that! And the excellent voting guide they mail you there, too. But you don’t get the “I voted” sticker. On the other hand I live in a swing state now where my vote actually means something.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • MacCrocodile,

      It’s terrible, I had to wait behind somebody on a bike as he fished his ballot out of his bag to drop it in the drop box. I waited for ten seconds! LIKE A CAVEMAN!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  2. Paulo,

    Two things:

    An interview with Greg Palast about voting fraud

    And, as a subject of the Empire: LOL at the idea that american lifes are being lost for democracy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Paulo,

      *lives, sorry.

      Please watch the interview, and pray Obama knows what he is doing encouraging people to mail their ballots.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. McGee,

    There’s a reason Florida is the penis of American geography.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0


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