Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Election 2016



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 REGISTRATION.

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.


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