Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Election Day

One of the mainstays of our system of our democratic government is the right to vote. On Election Day the people get to choose who will represent them in the executive, legislative and judiciary branches. Our Founding Fathers got it right when they assigned this right (I prefer privilege) to the citizens of the United States. Back in the early days of the Republic, requirements for voting were a lot more stringent, for example you had to be a man and also a property holder. Down through the years, Amendments to the Constitution have eased the qualifications for voting so that today, just about every American 18 years of age or older is eligible. Many do not exercise this privilege, and that is sad. On the other hand, many who do vote are so uninformed that they know virtually nothing about their candidate; they vote along party, ethnic or racial lines.

I find it interesting to visit my local polling place. Here, an army of poll workers sit at tables, ostensibly to help voters, but mainly they gab and eat donuts. Most are less informed on voting procedures than the poor voters seeking their help. Today there were maybe 50-60 of these paid workers sitting around looking bored, and maybe four people actually there to cast votes. They have recently done away with those cumbersome voting machines in use since the turn of the century, and replaced them with cumbersome scanners that read paper ballots marked with a pen. Leave out the scanner and that's pretty much the way Americans voted in 1780. It's a little frightening to think that we allow people who can't figure out the voting machine to pick the leader of the free world!

I remember years ago, we had to produce a voter registration card and some form of ID before the poll workers would permit us to vote. Now, you step up to the table, give them your address and they have you sign off that you are who you say you are. That's it. No ID is requested so really, anyone can claim to be anybody and they just accept your word. We lowered the barriers to proving who we are before we can vote so that illegal aliens who have no proof of identity can be given an inactive name on the voter rolls and cast a ballot for whatever liberal they are told to vote for. This is how Democratic candidates glean votes from the dead. The scam keeps the freebies flowing and ensures that immigration laws are never enforced.

My father-in-law Ray used to be a precinct captain in his voting district. Sure he made a few extra bucks, but he also took his duties seriously. The people working the polls these days seem totally unaware of what they are supposed to do. They avoid making eye contact in the hope that you will ask someone else for help. When you do ask a question, they immediately turn to the worker next to them with a puzzled expression, only to have their puzzled expression returned. There is maybe one person on the property who knows anything, but their job seems to be chatting with the bored police officer in the school lobby. There must be intelligent poll workers out there somewhere, but the two women who "helped" us today had a collective IQ of about 70.

We have strayed too far from how the Founding Fathers viewed the serious responsibility of voting. You have to take a test for a driver's license, I think you should have to pass a test to vote. The test should be in English only; if you don't speak our language, either learn it or don't vote. A few simple questions about the issues at stake in the election should also be asked. If you don't even know the name of the candidate you're voting for and just pulling the lever the precinct boss told you to pull, you are not qualified to vote. The world is in a sorry state because we are electing leaders for the wrong reasons. They promise benefits to the unemployed and those in this country illegally that are paid for by working people. It's time we weeded out the uninformed and the uninvited from the voting process and restored that privilege to those who have earned it.


Children's Craniofacial Association


The Whiner said...

You don't to show ID in NY? Geez, that's ridiculous; we have to show it here. I'm telling you...move to Portland. No voting lines, most of the workers greet you by name (because you know many of them) and they are quite friendly and helpful. the candidates are outside chatting with the people. You'd like it here....

Joseph Del Broccolo said...

It scares the hell out of me that something so important as voting is so dangerously lax. I remember thinking a few years ago how easy it would be to find out who isn't voting and go cast another vote for my man! No ID needed, incredible!