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Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016

Election idea would make voting easier

Sunday, September 19, 2004

I have an idea that could drastically reduce the cost of the upcoming election, streamline the counting process and assure an absolute accurate result. All it takes is a little cooperation and creative thinking. Which means of course, it's doomed from the very beginning.

As I've discussed the impending elections over countless cups of coffee, I have repeated on occasion to my friends on the other side of the political spectrum that I would cancel their vote and they would cancel mine. And if you think about it, that's exactly what will happen with darned near half of the population. If you're a Kerry supporter and I'm a Bush supporter, regardless of our passion, we're going to cancel each others vote come election day.

So why not concede that fact and use it to our advantage.

Find a friend or even an enemy who is a staunch supporter of your opponent and make a pact that you each will decline to vote in November. This plan relies on honesty which is yet another obvious flaw.

But carry this to the extreme. If you believe the polls that show the American electorate in a virtual deadlock on the outcome of the Presidential vote, then this election "buddy system" would mean an extremely small turnout at the polls for those few who are unable to pair-up with a supporter from the opposing camp.

In the end, as I see it, a handful of people in some far-flung regions would be the only voters to actually cast a ballot on election day. There's no sense in the rest of us literally opening the door to the polling precinct for a person who will then negate our trip to the poll. So by agreement, we reduce the burden on the counting process, we save massive costs in time to handle the results and the outcome will be the same.

I know husbands and wives (though they are not on speaking terms these days), who have someone watch the kids while they drive to the voting precincts only to cast ballots for opposing candidates for President. Now that seems silly. By mutual agreement they could agree to disagree and fix supper with the kids instead of wasting their time traveling to vote and then cancel each others ballot.

Under my new voting system, the outcome of the election would not hinge on some counting and recounting in Florida. Heck, if the system works right, you wouldn't have a handful of votes to count. Improved accuracy, reduced cost, tastes great, less filling.

I have a Yankee friend from an unnamed northern state who would cast a Democratic ballot from his death bed. He remains my friend despite his misguided ways. By mutual agreement, he has decided to sit this Presidential election out if I will agree to do the same. He won't have to take time off from work to stand in some lengthy line at some dank voting precinct and I can enjoy that November day without the worry of making it to the polls on time. The outcome of the election will be identical without our two ballots. Multiply that common sense and logic by a couple of million here and there. You get my drift.

I've never favored making the election process easier. In fact, I'd make it more difficult. But this common sense approach would bring the same outcome with much less hassle. To get the ball rolling, I plan on calling Jesse Jackson come Monday morning and propose the plan to him. He may not agree but it will do me good to remind him that in November, I personally will cancel his vote. I feel better already!

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