Tag: elections

Early Voting

Ordinarily, I am opposed to early voting for any election. The best and fairest way to conduct an election is to have everybody vote in all locations at the same time. In this case you have a chance of less voter fraud, and mythical voter suppression.

There have been no cases of voter intimidation that have ever gone to court, or have ever been shown to be accurate. Fraudulent voting, on the other hand, is epidemic and many races in the nation have historically been won or lost because dead people have a habit of showing up in the voting results in certain places.

I have changed my mind about early voting. Now, I see it as a necessary evil.

The problem with an all-in-one election day is that in most large cities, the polls are not adequately staffed, nor are there enough of them to accommodate everybody in one day. In the last presidential election, I voted early, and even then had to stand in line for over two hours to get to the booth. Most of that waiting was outside.

So, what’s wrong with waiting outside? In the year 2008 election we had beautiful weather in Atlanta. This year, there is a forty percent chance of showers. The high temperature will be around forty-nine degrees. In Atlanta anything less than sixty degrees is cold.

Election Day in Atlanta will not be a warm day, and waiting in the long lines will be problematic for many people, including me. You see, I don’t like cold weather, and I don’t like waiting in lines. Oh, woe is me!

The problem with early voting in Fulton County, Georgia is that it was not available in my town. The closest early voting poll was about ten miles from home. The Fulton County offices in downtown Atlanta were available, but who wants to fight traffic for twenty-five miles, and then not find a place to park, plus wait in line in the city streets for half-a-day?

Early voting makes sense, but if we are going to do it adequate polling places need to be made available, especially in the suburbs. That way we rich people (tongue-in-cheek) will be able to elect more rich lawyers to office.

This early voting stuff is not what it is said to be.

Is There A Lesson In The Wisconsin Elections?

picture of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker
Scott Walker, Governor of the State of Wisconsin

Depending on which newspaper you read, or which network news you watch, there are many lessons that might have been learned. I think it is simpler than that, and it doesn’t take a lot of bandwidth to explain.

Here we have a state governor who effectively stuck his finger in the eye of Big Labor by legislatively out manoeuvring state employee unions, and canceling some of their awesome political power. Therein lies the genesis of the fight. It was all about power.

When it came to crafting messages for the electorate, the argument was always economic. To the voter it was all about money, and the unions could not argue on that basis. Union employees would not be fired, and their pay would not decrease. But, here is the winner. Union members would be forced to fund part of their pensions and part of their healthcare. Every private employee in Wisconsin was already funding their own pensions, and a good bit of their healthcare if they could afford it.

Logically, why should the taxpayers of Wisconsin fund all of the state employees pensions and healthcare when they couldn’t afford to pay for their  own? In retrospect the results were obvious.

The unions did not lose any rights. They lost the power to blackmail the citizens of Wisconsin into paying more and more for state services, higher and higher union pensions, and using non-competitive healthcare providers. The power to take money from a population is not a right. The unions message could never could dominate, and the governor’s common sense message won.

I believe this election will have little effect outside of Wisconsin, but the unions are gearing up for a similar battle in Ohio. A skillful governor can use the same tactics on the unions in Ohio because I don’t believe the unions understand why they were defeated.

Being outspent seven to one is the union excuse, but that number that doesn’t stand up to inspection. The unions paid workers to go door to door, and to protest Governor Walker’s events. A good bit of the governor’s money came from small donors outside of Wisconsin.

This will be the mother of election years.