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BBHQ Boomer Essays:

The Case Against Early Voting

Our Boomer-In-Charge at BBHQ, Hershel Chicowitz, writes about boomer memories and current events... from a boomer’s perspective. He is sometimes funny, sometimes provocative, some-
times a little of each. We hope you get a kick out of our Boomer Essays.

I don’t want voting to be as easy as playing Candy Crush on your smartphone. I think it deserves to be on a much higher plateau of the social plane than Angry Birds. I don’t want people to vote while they are at the ball park... or the massage parlor.

This essay is available in its entirety to all visitors. Enjoy!

Remember the first time you walked into a voting booth... or the first time you went to the polls with your parents? It was a big deal! Back then, they they treated voting as a serious matter.

Voting was a right; a civic duty. It was a great honor to be part of the process.

Election day... Tuesday after the first Monday of November, was a big day.. and a big deal!

The polls were open from 7 in the morning until 7 in the evening. So, you could vote before or after work, or during your lunch break.

But it was one day, and only one day... an important day; but still, just one day.

Oh, you could get what was called an “absentee ballot,” if you were out of town on election day. But you had to jump through hoops to get it and get your ballot approved. I know; I remember from my college days.

You had to really want to vote to vote in absentia.

That was the point.

But that was then.

This is Now

Today, you don’t need an excuse to vote via long distance, not even long distance. In some districts, you can vote by mail a week... two weeks... three weeks... a month before the election, even if you live across the street from the voting place.

Some cities are experimenting with voting using the Internet and smartphones.

“If I can bank online, why can’t I vote online?”

In Colorado, early “vote harvesters” can be paid to go door to door to collect ballots. The more ballots they collect, the more money they make.

Anybody see a problem with that?

— http://www.nationalreview.com/article/ 390139/braced-voter-fraud-colorado-john-fund

And it’s coming. I can imagine that you’ll be able to vote using your smartphone on election day... or a week, or a month before the official election day. You’ll be able to vote at work; or in the car, on the way to or from work; at home, sitting in the privacy of your own... Lazy-Boy chair; or at the ball park, during the 7th-inning stretch of the World Series.

You’ll get tweets and Facebook reminders and not-so-subtle suggestions... pushed endlessly to your smartphone.

“Like me and your life will be complete.”  

“Press here and vote for me!”

You’ll be able to vote while deep-sea fishing in the Atlantic Ocean, or at the local bar or night club, or at Magnificent Mary’s Massage Parlor and Bottle Store.

And why not?

It is inevitable, isn’t it?

Well, Why Not?

The proponents of online, Internet, instant-voting ask the question, but only rhetorically, “If I can bank online, why can’t I vote online?”

Of course you can.

Their primary argument is that flexible days and flexible means will increase voter participation. More people will vote. More people will make their voices heard. It’s democracy on steroids.

No; just no!

Here’s Why Not

When we were young, families sat around the dinner table... if only occasionally, to discuss social and political issues. During the campaign season (which lasted just a few months, every other year), people talked about the candidates and the issues at town hall meetings and picnics. The World Series was over; the NFL was just an itty-bitty thing. Christmas was in December... and only December. There was not a whole lot else going on. In October, there was Halloween, and... election campaigning.

And the difference between the two was crystal clear.

But today, half the people in the country don’t even know who the vice president is.

And they don’t care.

Benghazi? “That was, like, two years ago, dude!”

The Constitution? An useless piece of paper written by old, rich men... hundreds of years ago.

The Bill of Rights? Who knows!

(Well, apparently, millions of eligible voters don’t have the foggiest.)

I don’t want those people to vote!

I don’t want voting to be as easy as playing Candy Crush on your smartphone. I think it deserves to be on a much higher plateau of the social plane than Angry Birds.

I don’t want people to vote while they are at the ball park... or the massage parlor.

I want citizens to know who the candidates are, what the issues are, and to take time to decide why they are voting for whomever they are voting.

You can’t do that between sessions of Grand Theft Auto on your iPad.

I want election day to be special... and I want it to be one day... just one day.

The Last Word

I want adult Americans to vote. I want Americans to be involved. I want Americans to take it seriously. And yes... I want them to have to drive, walk, or take a bus or a cab to the precinct on election day. I want them to show up, with proper identification, and vote in person. If you can’t do that... you don’t really want to vote. So don’t! That’s fine with me.

I’m all in favor of democracy... but not on false, deceitful steroids.

Life is more important than bean bags.

This ain’t bean bags.

Or Angry Birds.


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