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Examiner
  • Jerry Plantz: U.S. needs to make voting easier

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  • It’s Election Day, and the Jackson County Election Board estimates that only 20 to 25 percent of the county’s 230,000 registered voters will exercise their constitutional rights.
    Veteran Election Board directors Bob Nichols and Tammy Brown, with their 25 full-time staff members and some 1,200 judges at work today, are hopeful that percentage is higher.
    Would poll attendance improve if we changed election day to Saturday like some cities in America are doing?
    “Saturday voting might turn out more voters, but it is hard to say,” Nichols says.
    Tammy Brown agrees and adds, “But it would generate more volunteers and judges especially for teachers who assist us with elections.”
    Both say weekend voting in the summertime would be a challenge due to summertime activities and vacations. A better option would be for November elections.
    If Saturday is not an option, what about absentee voting or Internet voting? In Missouri you have to have a valid reason to vote absentee such as absence from your voting jurisdiction on election day; being incapacitated due to illness, injury or physical disability; the fact that you assist someone with illness, injury or disability; religious belief or practice; employment by an election authority; or incarceration.
    And what of the Internet? One could just punch in a personal election code or password and vote right from home. Surely that would generate a lot more voters than we’ll see at the polls today.
    Perhaps these ideas are all too simplistic, but all fair-minded Americans want the best for our country and not for our party as exemplified by our “do-little or nothing Congress.” However, the ugly opposite is happening. Too many “UN-American politicians” – yes UN-American – are deliberately making it more difficult to vote through dubious voting fraud ID laws plus gerrymandering that makes the playing field uneven especially for minorities. Still, the ballot box could be a mighty fortress against such moves.
    You have the power. From tax hikes to tax cuts, from highway bills to water bills, from city council positions to the presidency, research the issues and the candidates and vote your conscience instead of your party.
    These words of President John F. Kennedy should be the anthem for all of us: “The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.” Vote today and proudly wear that sticker that reads, “I voted.”
    I give you President John Adams, toast: Independence forever.
    Jerry Plantz lives in Lee’s Summit. His website is at www.Jerryplantz.com. Reach him at jerryplantz@msn.com.

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