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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Head Scratcher (6)

The United Kingdom, like the USA, holds its elections on a work day: Tuesday for America and Thursday for the British.

Today is Election Day in the United Kingdom and the polls opened at 7:00 a.m. which is the same as the usual opening time in the USA. British polling stations, however, will be open until 10:00 p.m. in contrast to ours which generally close at 7:00 p.m or in some places at 8:00 p.m.

The head scratcher, given our generally poor turnout, is why we do not keep our polls open later so that it is easier for those with jobs, and difficult schedules, to vote. Perhaps the election workers get tired (poor dears!). Or, worse, are demands from the television channels for prime time results overwhelming the democratic process?

Your correspondent begs to differ with those who claim that on-demand mail in ballots can solve the problem. Voting is a civic duty but so is paying attention to the entire campaign. Other than in exceptional circumstances, voting three weeks before election day does not meet the test of engaged citizenship.

There is a relatively simple solution. The wonder is that so few are interested in considering it.

1 comment:

Aleksandra Robinson said...

I know it's crazy, but the thing that's always worried me about absentee ballots is the fact that they don't count your vote until after the fact unless the number of absentee ballots is greater than the number of votes needed to win. I guess it doesn't make a difference, but it scares me. And what if the postal service messes up and the vote isn't received? I am way to paranoid for that. I re-registered in Pennsylvania in college rather than vote absentee.