The Joplin Globe Gets Early Voting Kudos

Because I have sometimes been highly critical of the Joplin Globe’s editorial positions, I feel I have to offer up some praise when the local paper gets it right.

Perhaps coming out of its Romney-endorsing funk, the Joplin Globe has embraced an idea that every American should, but doesn’t, support: early voting.

Missouri doesn’t really have early voting, except for those willing to swear they can’t cast a ballot on election day. Those folks can vote absentee. But Secretary of State Jason Kander is trying to find ways to expand early voting, and to that end he put together a commission—which includes the mayor of Joplin—that will study the issue and hopefully come up with a plan.

Kander said:

We have to preserve security in our elections while increasing efficient access for eligible voters. An affordable plan for early voting could help alleviate long lines at the polls on Election Day by adding a much-needed convenience for Missourians across the state.

Who, besides scared Republicans, could oppose that? Thankfully, the Joplin Globe is on board:

Early voting speaks to the disenfranchised voter and sends the message that the system does not have to be so inflexible.

Speaking to disenfranchised voters is not exactly in the Republican playbook, but Voter ID is. And on that controversial issue, the Globe gets it right again:

Voter ID, on the other hand, is a solution looking for a problem. We don’t see that it is necessary.

The House will be taking up the issue of voter ID this week. We would challenge legislators to focus on laws that make voting easier and more efficient.

Way to go, Joplin Globe. Here’s hoping that this is a sign the paper, after forsaking its 2008 Obama endorsement, has come back to its senses.

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5 Comments

  1. I think you have a 102-year-old woman to thank for this!

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  2. Is this in part bi-partisanship? In the past absentees have tended to break Republican, so more of them might help the GOP. Though I think that may no longer be relevent. A lot of people vote by mail nationwide. Oregon (my home) is all vote by mail.

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  3. Bipartisanship on Duane’s part that is to say.

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  4. King Beauregard

     /  February 13, 2013

    Where I come from, in a given year there will be over a dozen judicial races on the ballot, plus state-level offices, a few school board races, and a handful of community issues, on top of the big races that make the evening news. There’s no practical way to prepare for all that before you step into the voting booth, and make informed decisions on all of it.

    One of the great joys of mail-in ballots, I have found, is that I can research races or candidates or issues before casting my vote. In this last election, for example, there was a three-way race for a state board of education seat, and the ballot listed just three names with no other information about the candidates. How on earth would a person know whom to vote for? Well, I was able to do some research, and per documents the three candidates had submitted, their main goals were respectively: cutting educational spending, teaching the Founding Fathers in a more favorable light, and giving teachers what they need to do their job. (I voted for the one who actually gave a damn about education.)

    I suppose it would be possible to institute a system where sample ballots are sent to voters prior to the election so they can do all the research and mark down their preferences, then take the sample ballots to the voting booth as a guide. But at that point you’re just needlessly convoluting the process, and why not just do mail-in ballots?

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  5. ansonburlingame

     /  February 15, 2013

    Voting should in fact be easy. Deciding for whom to vote should be a task requiring some study and thinking. Any ballot that is a thoughtful vote should be endorsed and facilitated. Any “automatic” ballot should be discouraged or for sure any ballot that is “manufactured” by someone other than the voter himself or herself.

    Can anyone envision a “preprinted, party line ballot” provided to people for signature and then mailed, postage paid, (but not mailed on Sat!!!!) by political operatives? I sure can. All Granma has to do is “sign the bottom line”. In other words, how do you protect the privacy and “sanctity” of the voting booth with mail in ballots? No way that I can see or envision.

    Anson

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