Sunday vote: Don't get your hopes up. It's just more politics.
One of the most amusing developments in the continuing battle for the presidency of the United States is the sometimes sanctimonious rantings of those who are battling over the issue of the "right to vote."
The claim is that Republicans are trying to limit Americans' right to vote by forcing people to meet the onerous requirement of bringing identification to the voting booth.
Republicans, of course, claim that this is merely an opportunity for more corruption of the voting process, allowing non-eligible voters an easier road to being able to cast ballots that are unofficial and should never have been allowed in the first place.
Well, you will be happy to know that the argument has now seeped into Wayne County.
What's the call this time?
The Republican on the county Board of Elections as well as one of the two Democratic members say that opening up Sunday voting is unnecessary, that later voting hours during the week as well as Saturday hours are enough to allow just about anyone the opportunity to vote.
They say that opening Sunday is expensive and unfair to those who must give up their time to work the polls.
Republicans say Democrats are simply trying to manipulate the voting hours to suit their potential constituents, and that they have no real interest in fairness, only winning the election.
The Democrats, on the other hand, feel the same way about the claim of a sacred Sunday. They say the Republicans' argument is less about concern for churchgoers and more about keeping potential Democratic voters away from the polls.
They say Sunday voting is a fairness issue and that we should be opening up voting to more people, not less. They claim many families have trouble finding the time to get to the polls during the week and that Sunday hours would make having their say more of a possibility.
Now, if you believe that either of these groups' motives is truly without the glimmer of a hope of political gain, you haven't been paying attention. Of course there is a benefit for each of them in the outcome of this vote.
But here is the bottom line, from a voice of reason that does not have to answer to a donkey or an elephant.
Sunday voting is a political ploy -- and another opportunity to taint the political process.
Monday through Friday voting is enough -- and the addition of Saturday hours makes it even more likely that anyone who wants to vote will be able to find the time to get there.
Sunday voting allows church congregations the chance to organize runs to the polls -- officially or unofficially -- and it is an advantage and a manipulation of the voting process.
And while it could be a plus for either side, it is a benefit for those who hope to attract groups that are not traditional voters.
So to claim that there is only innocence behind the push for Sunday voting is, quite honestly, silly.
And then there is another factor, the idea that we should want "everyone" to vote. It is a great concept in theory, but does little to meet the demands that should be made on those who cast their ballots.
Voting should involve preparation and some work as well. It is not a lot to ask of a potential voter to bring along a piece of identification, or to vote during the hours that the polls are open.
That is how you get the best people in office and voters who understand the value and responsibility of exercising the freedom to cast a ballot.
So bottom line? Sunday voting is a political move by the Democrats and, yes, it is unnecessary. The Republicans are right to stand firm.
This will not be the last of these soapbox arguments -- and it won't be the last time hidden motives cloud a seemingly important statement.
And it won't be the last time you will have to weed out the real issues from 'just politicking.'
We will try to do so, together..
Published in Editorials on August 18, 2012 11:29 PM