I know, I know, we are nearly sick to death of this
subject—a campaign that went on way too long with a world-altering aftermath.
I’ll leave all the discussions to Facebook.
I’m here to blog the virtues of SAME-DAY VOTER
Chicago/Illinois is definitely left-leaning—meaning
we do not try to shorten early voting or restrict access, making people jump
through hoops in order to vote. We do not require ID—if you are in the poll
books. Some say this is fraud, but as someone who has been an election judge
since 2000, I can only say: for some people the act of voting is hard enough.
For example EVERYONE knew it was election day—and if you didn’t know then you
probably didn’t care in the first place. For the love of God get to your
polling place on time! We had a gentleman show up at ten after 7 expecting to
vote. No. Polls open at 6 a.m. and close at 7 pm.
Same-day voter registration is not a ploy by
Democrats, it is not handing the election over to fraud, or a way to game the
system. Some have suggested that minorities benefit the most from same-day
voter registration. I’m here to say that it is a MAJOR plus for those of
us helping to run a fair and accurate election. People are on the move.
Millennials especially: college, job, marriage, move in with boyfriend, move
out, parent’s basement, then with your bestie. It is impossible to say from one
year to the next where they might end up. The professional experiences job
change, transfers, or has to work remote temporarily. None of these people are
tricksters, trying to sneak an extra vote in. They simply want to know WHERE
they can vote.
We had them sit down at a table, sort out their new
address, and if we were their precinct then we had them vote. If their precinct
was somewhere else we gave them the address and sent them on their way. We
didn’t want the voter to feel compelled to return to their “old” address or
vote under their former name. All they had to do was prove with documentation
such as an ID or piece of mail they are who they say they are and their current
address. There were a couple of NEW voters, kids with birthdays right before
the election or who had had a birthday while off on a gap year and were now
back home, eligible to vote. We wanted to get it right, for us and for them.
Same-day voter registration made for a smoother
election. We had to issue only 2 provisionals. Instead of the countless ones in
years past. With same-day voter registration we made sure your vote counted. Maybe other wards, precincts, other states have
another experience, but for us this system works. And, how great is it, to be
able to put a person at ease, assure them that they’re not a problem, that this
is not too hard to solve, and then hand them a ballot! You’re good to go.