An argument to NOT allow certain demographics to skip to the front of the voting line

Around the country it appears that elderly, handicapped and pregnant women have been allowed to jump to the front of the line to vote. While I can appreciate those that have limitations are allowed to jump to the front of the line, I have a compelling argument to not allow this.

When I absentee voted last week, I watched well over 100 people walk right up and get to vote ahead of the “able-bodied” standing in line. A lot of them weren’t elderly, some just had difficulty walking, or maybe had a cane and those were well under Medicare age of 65 years old.

I see a huge problem with this. If faced with an extended wait, a certain percentage of people will simply not vote. While waiting in line, I saw at least a dozen people give up and walk away. If elderly, handicapped and pregnant women do not have to wait, then the demographic of people who give up and not vote will be skewed to include less women and elderly potential voters than are actually in the district. Elderly people and women are a specific demographic that could possibly vote a certain way.

While not intentional, the policy of allowing pregnant women, handicapped and elderly to skip to the front of the line has the effect of artificially inflating a certain voter demographic, and subsequently inducing a different voter demographic to leave the polling place.

Another problem witnessed when I finally got inside was poll workers rushing voters through the process. The electronic voters had side shields, but weren’t totally private – no curtains shrouded the voter. Twice I saw two voters told to hit next, next, next, next four times to exit the voting booth. When I got to the booth to vote myself, I noticed that if someone hit next, next, next, next at the bottom of the screen, they skipped voting for the La. constitutional amendments and the local offices. How can the voting process be legitimate when poll workers are not allowing voters to completely execute their vote?


~ by maringouin on Tuesday, November 4, 2008.

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