Friday, December 9

One Polling Place???? For the Whole City???

Well, I don't read the paper for a day and what a doozy I missed.

In case you didn't see it, the county is now proposing that we use one polling place for all of Great Falls. Ideally, fifty-thousand people, all crowding into the Four Seasons Arena to place their vote.

I understand the need to be efficient with taxpayer dollars. I usually applaud the sentiment. However, spending money on voting is one thing that government should do willingly.

Why? The franchise is IMPORTANT. I suggest to you that it is the MOST important difference between our form of government and all the others.

Making the exercise of that franchise as convenient as possible for as many people as possible should be our goal. Period.

If handicap accessibility is the reason for this move (and I think it is just an excuse), then a single alternate facility could be set up for those that need it. However, local polling places should remain local.

I, for one, will not schlepp over to the fairgrounds, fight traffic and stand in line for an hour to place my vote. If this goes through, I will do all my voting by mail. And that, I submit, is the real goal of this measure -- to make more people vote by mail.

For all of its convenience, I cannot support that, either. Voting by mail makes one more susceptible to voting interference. It also threatens the secret ballot.

Voting is one of our last refuges of local civic participation. We need to make sure that it remains such a bastion.

1 comment:

ZenPanda said...

The neighborhood voting is not only convenient to most but it a way to "run into" your neighbors!
I have voted in the same place (off & on with my moves overseas) since I turned 18. My parents vote there. My grandmother, my aunts vote there. It is a place where IF there is a line it's because Joe ran into Bob and is catching up.

I don't care to drive to the four seasons nor would I remember to mail mine in. (I usually vote at like 4pm when I remember it is Election Day!)