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Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016

Early voting is not answer to problem

Thursday, July 22, 2004

St. Louis city officials remain adamant that they want early voting approval for the Nov. 2 general election. But Democrat Attorney General Jay Nixon on Wednesday disappointed those officials when he decided to stay out of the political and legal question over early voting. St. Louis officials had hoped Nixon would side with them in the early voting question.

There is a tremendous amount at stake in this question. If St. Louis city - and no one else - is allowed early voting, political leaders believe that will help the fortunes of Democratic candidates since St. Louis is the Democratic stronghold of Missouri. But Republican Secretary of State Matt Blunt says the law currently does not allow early voting though he supports the concept statewide. His opposition is to allow only St. Louis to cast early ballots.

Let's face it - the problem with St. Louis voting irregularities is at the center of this battle. The dirty voting tricks witnessed in St. Louis during the 2000 elections were an embarrassment to the state. And the election process is way too important to allow questionable practices.

St. Louis argues that early voting will reduce lines on election day. But the other side of that coin is that early voting opens up the potential for abuse. And as I've said on countless occasions, voting should not necessarily be made more convenient, it should be made fair and honest. If someone is simply too lazy to participate in the process, then why should society make is easier?

In short, I don't trust early voting. And it's not a partisan argument. The process works when voters follow simple rules. And I'm not in favor of changing those rules to accommodate those unable to follow the process that formed this republic in the first place.

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