Washington State has mail-in ballots with postage-free returns. Voters received their ballots around the 20th of October, giving them plenty of time to research the candidates, mail in the ballots, or put them in conveniently located ballot boxes. There are also some polling places. It is easy to register in Washington, with the objective to make voting as easy as possible. It is unfortunate that so many states put up barriers to make it hard to vote. Why we continue to see long lines at polling sites is a mystery when a statewide system of mail-in ballots is so easy and fair.
My son lives in a heavily blue neighborhood in Omaha, in a heavily red state. He showed up to vote at his polling place, a church, when it opened and got in a long line with signs pointing to a door. The door, as it turns out, was locked. He went around to the other side of the church and found the open door leading to the polling place. He returned to the line leading to the locked door and found people telling those waiting in line that if they were concerned about being late to work, they could vote on their phones or online. He directed those in the fake line to the actual polling place.
Name Withheld Upon Request
In NYC, voters were asked to line up for long periods in heavy rain in front of empty schools. Some were seniors and parents with babies and toddlers. I asked if we could go inside, and was told no. Previously, I’ve been at crowded school voting sites during presidential elections, and voters were respectfully allowed inside, in the auditorium and other sections. Some potential voters left because they could not keep standing in the rain that long.
New York, N.Y.
Mr. and Mrs., in our 90s, voted in Los Angeles County, while our invalid neighbor could not because the election board changed locations to a high-school auditorium. There was no parking, double steps to an entrance approximately 40 feet above street level, plus six blocks (round trip) walking uphill from the street parking spot.
We complained at the voting location, and most workers agreed with us. They had all arrived at 6 a.m. and had to lug heavy voting equipment up the double steps. Mrs. reported the issue to the local congressman’s office.
Other than our personal voting problem, the day was sunny, and we continued our 70-year-long unbroken string of voting; always.
I live in Massachusetts, and I have never experienced anything but help and respect at the polls—and never any long lines. I have been voting here for more than 40 years. While I agree that any attempt to suppress voting rights is wrong, I would like to see some emphasis placed on the positive experiences most of us have.