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Monday, March 13, 2006

Voting. Stupid Feds.

Published by cck at 8:16 PM

A'ight. I have a very dear friend in Alabama who tipped me to this issue... And, I have reason to believe that this legal dilemma will be traveling east to South Carolina rather soon.

Here's the issue - absentee voters, ahem - absentee military voters - are having trouble receiving and sending back ballots between primary elections and runoff elections. I acknowledge that this is a huge problem. It's unfair. The men and women that are off fighting our battles and keeping the peace far away should have every opportunity to play a part in our Democracy.

However, the Federal Government is trying to make states - most recently Alabama - allow absentee military voters to vote by email. All the technological issues aside - all the security issues aside - WHY should someone working overseas (or for that matter outside the state of South Carolina) be given more opportunity to vote by virtue of their occupation?

I realize the men and women in our armed forces are making a personal sacrifice. But, folks, that's what they signed up to do. And we can debate for HOURS the opportunities and desperation that many people face when signing up, but I return to my main point -- why are people, ordinary normal citizens, given more rights and opportunity than any other normal ordinary South Carolinian?

Plus, where does it stop? Is it only those people serving? Is it also our contractors? Is it only folks in Iraq? Or could it be people in Germany, too? Or DC? And, would it be support personnel for the actual armed services?

Here's my suggestion - move the primary and runoff out a little. Put a couple extra weeks in between in order to ensure that mailed out ballots are received and returned. Easy, done - and we don't even have to get into security issues of email or how to offer a wireless connection to the Marine trekking across Iraq.


Anonymous said...

The problem with the stupid feds is the stupid feds _ as in the U.S. postal service. It's often unreliable in war zones. While Five Points may resemble a war zone, mailing a ballot from Harden Street to the state elections office is easier than mailing a ballot from Tikrit to Columbia. That's where the difference is. You're comparing apples and oranges. For the numerous states that have early voting, with polls open up to two weeks before an election, deployed military personel are also put at a disadvantage. Allowing members of the armed services to vote electronically, which if anyone viewed their ballot would be just as illegal as if someone viewed your ballot at a regular polling station, only levels the playing field.

CCS said...

I agree - almost completely. I, however, think the answer is extending the time period between the primary and the runoff elections.
For once, email is not the solution.