Make the vote easier for everyone, not harder

The Editorial Board, USA TODAY

Post 7:28 PM ET 6 November 2018 | Updated 7:58 PM ET 6 November 2018

Whether globally or without planning, the government continues to block voters: Our view

Turn Celebration Day into a National Holiday

In 1845, it was very logical for Congress to set Election Day on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November. Today, 173 years later, not so much.

The day was dictated by the needs of American agricultural society, religious practice and travel time to reach distant electoral districts. A national election at the beginning of spring or summer would have prevented planting, while late summer or early autumn would have prevented harvests.

November fell after the harvest and before the hardest winter weather. Sunday was out because many people went to the church and did not want to travel to polling stations to vote on Sunday or Monday. Wednesday was often the day of farmers. So Congress was resolved on Tuesday for the presidential election and added the congressional matches later.

It's been a long time since America had a highly rural economy. And the vote for one day of the week interferes with work, especially for low-income workers with little flexibility.

In a society that is accustomed to fast food and fast Internet speeds, people should not lose their jobs or wait for hours to exercise a holy constitutional right. It is a long time to make a Day of Days a national holiday or to move it on the weekend. At the very least, all states should be included in about three dozen that allow timely voting personally for people who have a problem with Tuesday.

While this year's mid-year election has created an excessive turnout, in a nation where only 60% of voters hit the presidential race in 2016 and 37% voted in the 2014 Congressional elections, the government should try to make it easier for all voters.

Long lines, machines that do not work properly

Of all the things that the government should not usurp, keeping the electorate in a state of operation and several polls so that everyone can vote should be at the top of the list. But either with intense planning or without planning, the government continues to block voters.

In the foolish category, counties and states have eliminated the polls since 2012, often to save money. And the voting machines, which have been modernized since the Bush-Gore election of 2000, have diminished. More than 40 states use machines that are no longer manufactured, turning repairs into hunting for used components that often work inadequately.

This can not ensure that Americans exercise their voting rights. The effects of this inappropriate effort occurred across the country on Tuesday. Petitions for voting machine malfunctions – including some people-to-people voting – have been shifted from more than twelve states to Election Protection, a coalition of about 100 groups of politicians and voting rights that does what the government's job should do.

In Maricopa County, Arizona, where many areas were closed in 2016, some constituencies could not be opened in time either. In Michigan, Pennsylvania, Texas and elsewhere, the machines were broken. In Georgia, lines extending around a polling site in Atlanta, and some voters in Snellville – where nearly half of the population is a minority – waited more than four hours off a site because the machines were not working.

Head-to-head machines, along with fewer polling stations and opinion polls, leave voters confused about where to vote, travel longer, often waiting long or leaving without voting.

The only worst thing? Republicans controlling voting machines in states and deliberately trying to stifle voters.

Georgia was zero for this disgusting strategy. Foreign Secretary Brian Kemp, a candidate for GOP governments, used all kinds of draconian measures that seemed to keep minority voters from polls. Similar strategies ranged from North Carolina to Kansas.

In 1977, when Jimmy Carter won Ohio's summer state and presidency, a top Ohio Republican was asked how he lost his party. He called, "Because too many people voted".

The abolition of the vote has become a very common strategy. It should end, along with the irrelevant design that deprives voters of a popular constitutional right.

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