Legitimate votes won’t be counted in Iowa come November. Money earmarked for helping people to vote is being used to track down a handful of people who mistakenly thought they could vote. There was no crime committed. They just made a mistake.
What isn’t drawing needed attention is that the process for requesting and receiving an absentee ballot is disturbingly slow. Last year, I was stripped of my right to vote in a city election. Even though my request for a ballot was mailed with ample time, the Polk County election office blamed the post office for its inability to send my ballot. This year it was even worse. It took twelve days for my mailed request to be processed and the ballot sent from Des Moines, Iowa to the Twin Cities.
Wouldn’t it make more sense to use precious resources investigating the obstacles keeping legitimate voters from casting votes? After all, this is a presidential election and if ballots aren’t making it into the hands of voters for city elections when the participation is low, what chance is there that all votes will be counted in a presidential election when participation is higher?
There is a negative, paranoid element infecting and slowing the voting process. Fear of numerous illegal votes being cast remains the focus, when sadly there is a growing need to help people vote. It is extremely painful to watch, especially since it used to be a strong system worthy of respect.
My ballot was mailed off today with the assurance that it would be postmarked today, so hopefully it will be counted. My voter confidence has hit a new low. On a positive note, there was lively discussion as family members debated the candidates and issues. What was different this year was lack of information on local, nonpartisan positions. For the first time in years I was forced to leave my ballot blank due to lack of information. It is really sad – if only we could use funds to distribute information to educate voters. That would be valuable. But I suppose politicians don’t win seats by implementing positive reform. As voters, we need to take responsibility for voting in people campaigning on fear, paranoia and anger. There is a long held belief that negative campaigns work – only voters can prove this belief false. After all, we are the ones left to pay the consequences for ineffective leadership.
© Copyright 2012. Fawkes-Lee & Ryan. All rights reserved.