Back in 1992, I was getting my MBA in Georgia and had class at night after work. I went to vote in the 1992 election before I had to go to school. There was quite a line to vote that night, but I was naively optimistic and thought it would move quickly. 3 1/2 hours later, I was finally able to cast my vote. I don’t remember if they offered early voting back then that I could have done instead. I just never thought it would take that long. I ended up missing my class altogether and losing a letter grade. All because I wanted to vote.
Fast forward to this election week. I tried to vote early last Friday. Once again, I was thinking it is the middle of the day and I should be able to get in and out before my next meeting would start. I walked up the building and the line was out the door to get inside to vote. I couldn’t stay, so I thought I would go on Monday and vote instead. I went to the polling place today and couldn’t find a place to park and once again the line was super long.
I totally get that we want everyone to vote. I am one of the people who would like to vote too. Why have we not come any further to make this process faster? I am all for early voting, but that doesn’t seem to be enough. I would love to understand why we aren’t leveraging technology more? The IRS is even further advanced in this respect and allows you to do things electronically now. From everything I have read, many do not feel that they can have safe transactions and so this has not moved forward. Scary isn’t it considering how many electronic transactions are happening each and every day? As a technology person, I am always looking for a way to automate things and make the processes better.. Clearly we are nowhere near where we need to be yet.
It is really disappointing that you can’t cast your vote easily. No one wants to stand in a big long line. People can’t always leave work for 3 hour time periods, so it prevents many from participating. Do we declare a national holiday on election day so everyone has the day off to go place their vote? The only other viable option is to vote by mail which has not yet caught on very broadly. There are a few states doing more of it, but it just seems to take away the excitement of being able to cast your vote like everyone else. It seems like even voting by mail could have its own set of issues around security and fraud. So I am going back on election day to my polling place and hoping that it will not be an all day process to place my vote. I continue to hope that the leaders in charge of elections will be looking at improvements for the future elections.
Obviously we have taken a little departure from the usual discussion in the blog. For those of you not located in the US, my apologies. For those living in the US, I know you feel my pain. My rant is over now! Thanks for listening and feel free to comment.