Saturday, August 1, 2015

How to make voting easier

A new study says voting would be easier by allowing voters options other than Tuesdays-only.

How to make voting easier


Okay, let's say you're a no-vote.

And I don't mean on yes-no ballot questions. I mean you don't vote, period.

Would you vote if there were more options other than just voting on Tuesday?

A new study by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law suggests more people would vote if more states allowed early voting, including on weekends.

Most states already do so. Pennsylvania is one of 18 that doesn't. I'm sure you're shocked, given our usually-progressive attitude towards all things political.

But the question is would you vote if you had, say, two weeks to do so instead of just one day? Would you vote if you could mail in your ballot, no questions asked?

And does it make sense to run a democracy based on the ballots of only those who can find time on one day every election cycle?

Here's what the Brennan Center says regarding early voting.

There'd be greater access to the polls. There'd be less stress on the system. There'd be shorter lines on Election Day. Poll workers would perform their duties more efficiently. And, with spread out voting, there'd be less chance of serious system glitches.

Tuesday-only voting began during a different time. Too many people today have too many excuses, duties, workloads and responsibilities to easily get to the polls on one given day. Expanding options would expand democracy and maybe even lead to changes in politics so many seem to want.

Keeping Tuesday-only voting is just another way to keep the status quo. Voting should be easier, for a whole lot of reasons.

You can read the Brennan Center's full report, including experiences in other states regarding costs (some went up, some went down), here.


Daily News Political Columnist
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About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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