Voting Is Simple
The popular question this week: So, Kelly, I want all votes to count. I mean all of them! Why are you not willing to count all votes? – Err, because it’s only legal, timely votes that should count?
When I started this endeavor, I thought I could address the relevant issues in my normal 750 word limit column (self imposed). However that is simply not possible. There are far more election laws that pretty much anything else. Absentee ballots are covered in 16 code sections. So just that one issue would require a brief that would overwhelm even a law school journal. Therefore, I won’t even try to address the law, instead, I’ll propose what the law ought to be.
First, it should be agreed that there are no rules. Rules are simply the way the powerful stay powerful. Things like “election day” are outdated homages to the past. We should simply just have a general election constantly, maybe like a Jerry Lewis Telethon. Not happy with Congress? Call, tweet or click-in and vote them out. Today. Now that may seem ridiculous to you, but we have candidates challenging cutoff dates for absentee ballots because “every vote should count.” If time deadlines don’t matter for absentee voters, why should deadlines matter for in person voting? Isn’t election day an arbitrary date? Georgia law requires that all ballots, including absentee, be IN the election office on election day. But that excludes those persons who didn’t get their ballot mailed off in time. Shouldn’t the votes of the lazy, inept and absent minded count?
Why are voters limited to one vote? Seriously. If I voted “absentee” but then decided to vote again on Election Day, which of my votes is going to count? Why not just honor both of them. About 1800 people felt that way in Fulton County and voted twice. If the mantra is “every vote counts” why can’t both of my votes count? They “let me” cast both votes, after all.
If I want to vote for my Auntie June, and she’s not voting to the best of my knowledge, why can’t I cast a vote for her? We are of like mind generally. She likes custard pie and so do I. This whole “identification” card thing is simply a hindrance, an annoyance, to exercising my Auntie June’s vote. Making signatures sorta, kinda, match on an absentee ballot and the original application for voting is burdensome. True, Georgia does give you three days to come down to the Elections Office and prove that you are who you say you are, but that too is a hindrance if I’m mailing in my ballot from Montana (my summer home).
Speaking of Montana, why is there this silly rule that I have to be a citizen of Georgia to vote? Seriously, a federal judge recently told a candidate that citizenship was a REAL requirement under the law. The candidate thought that mere residency was enough. She wasn’t a citizen, yet, but she would be one day, so that meant the Georgia requirement for citizenship was discriminatory against her. All of these uber rich Californians who donated millions to the Abrams campaign, why can’t they vote too? Some 1600 provisional/absentee votes in Fulton County were disqualified due to not being residents of Fulton County.
The agitators do have a few points that I almost agree with. For instance, the “date of birth” being on the ballot envelope requirement. It’s only a requirement in some counties and not others. But why on the outside of an envelope? Seems like a privacy issue. But in general, since one had to give one’s date of birth to get the application in the first place, why give it again? It’s sorta like having to punch your PIN into the gas pump every time. Why? Oh sure, to prevent fraud, I mean that simple tool prevents a thief from easily grabbing free gas off your stolen card. But this is only our sacred obligation to vote. Why make it so secure? So a federal judge threw out that requirement on the absentee ballot envelope.
Were statewide voting allowed, you could vote anywhere in Georgia at any time. Why bother with voting in your home county? I mean really, why be restricted to the confines of your county for your vote to count? That’s what Abrams campaign is arguing. Since governor is a statewide office, she argues one ought to be able to vote anywhere in Georgia. It’s an interesting argument, and one that makes some sense. It’s just not what the law is, or ever has been. Maybe it should be that way, if the State could figure out the computertronics of it all. A minor little point from yours truly however. To do that would most likely require that each voting machine be hooked up to the Internet, which is not the case now. So then we’d have Vlad Putin and Kim Jong-un having more of a say in our elections than we do now. Just a thought.