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Voter Restriction loser weighs in on the horrors of early voting

by Jeff Rosenberg on November 29, 2012 · 1 comment

Minnesota Majority’s Dan McGrath wants to make it much harder for people to vote. He’s so enamored of the idea that he brought it before the people of Minnesota, using the flimsy pretext that we need protection against non-existent voter fraud. Minnesotans rejected McGrath’s idea soundly.

So it must gall him that Secretary of State Mark Ritchie is proposing to make voting even easier, by instituting early voting. Early voting would greatly reduce barriers to voting by giving people more opportunities to vote at a time that works for them. Over 30 states now have some form of early voting. McGrath can’t stand this idea, and he’s once again pretending it’s an “election integrity” issue:

Early voting sounds like a convenience, but its effect is to take the election process away from the People.

Oh boy. You know this is going to be good. Okay, Mr. McGrath, how exactly does this take the election process “away from the People?”

Minnesota’s election system has a long and important tradition of citizen oversight. On Election Day, regular Minnesotans serve as election judges at over 4,000 precincts across the state and the major political parties deploy observers known as poll challengers to watch for shenanigans. The process is designed to boost confidence and integrity by providing for observation by all sides on Election Day.

Early voting as recently proposed by Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and others would gut that crucial bi-partisan citizen oversight.

It is not possible to deploy volunteer partisan poll challengers across the state to observe early voting for weeks on end. It’s not possible to maintain party balance with citizen election judges with early voting.

Oh, I see. That was a typo. You meant it would take the election process away from the Parties. I can see how you could easily get the two confused. Well, something tells me that if the parties are really concerned about “shenanigans,” they’ll find a way to get volunteers to the greatly-reduced number of polling places typically made available for early voting.

Look, this is a bunch of nonsense. You know what would really “take the election process away from the People?” Making it as difficult as possible for them to vote. The best way to make sure elections work for the People is to make sure they’re able to vote. Early voting is an easy way to do that. A large majority of states already offer this option, and it’s high time we did, too.

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