With all deference to President Ronald Reagan, “State Government is not the solution to our problems; state government is the problem.” Another contentious presidential election proves it.
As of this writing several states are still counting various ballots. The election created an ugly national tapestry of computer malfunctions, lack of sufficient board-of-election personnel, lengthy and confusing ballots, ID snafus, obfuscation, gerrymandering coupled with attempted voter suppression and fewer days and hours to vote, creating long lines and long hours – some an unforgivable eight hours for Americans to exercise their Constitutional right.
Do we need a national, universal change on Election Day? Yes!
Here’s my two cents. Dust off the recurring suggestion of a making the presidential election a federal holiday. Have Congress take the present ugly hodgepodge system out of the hands of the states and pass the ball to the federal government, paid for by funds that would have gone to Afghanistan. Spare me the “Oh no, not another bureaucracy with regulations” mantra. More on this and the antiquated Electoral College in future columns.
Several citizens have suggested a federal voting holiday on Nov. 11, aptly named Veterans’ Democracy Day.
I asked Micheal Mahoney, the political reporter for KMBC-TV 9 news, to weigh in on the subject of a national election holiday.
“The idea of having an election in the fall is something that was timed to coincide with the end of the fall harvest in the 18th century. That’s why it is where it is now,” he notes. “However, having elections on Tuesday is not written on stone. The main opposition is that it adds another holiday and could affect the business world. Several states hold party primaries on Saturday to encourage voter turn out. So there is nothing to stop moving Election Day a few days deeper in November.”
He goes on: “South Carolina and Texas come to mind right off the bat as states that have Saturday voting. Missouri and Kansas held their presidential caucuses this year on Saturdays in March. Election Day ought to have a patriotic connection to it. Placing the Election Day process and a celebration with another national holiday may be worth looking at.”
Here’s another patriotic idea now circulating. “Represents Us” has launched a nine point-plan to get lobbyists and PAC money out of politics. Yes!
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.