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CNN Associate Producer
Voting is the cornerstone of our democracy, right? Then why is voting still so difficult?
Let's just start with the timing: the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November is arbitrary now. It started back when our economy was agrarian. The first week in November was good for farmers; they had finished harvesting their crops and winter's harsh weather hadn't hit. The vote was held on Tuesday because it took many farmers a day to get to the voting 'booths.' So rather than make them leave on the Sabbath, they left on Monday, cast their ballots on Tuesday and were back at work on Wednesday.
That made sense then, but why hasn't the system evolved as we have? Why do we still have such an arcane, bug-plagued voting system?
We pay our bills online. We place bets in the stock market online. The government lets you file your taxes online, but we still can't vote online.
It gets better. In Oregon, you can't even get in line to vote. (You have to mail in your ballots.) In one county in California this year, you could actually sit in line at a drive-through voting station.
With all of this technology, organization and trust in online commerce, why can't the government figure out how to make online voting safe, secure and transparent? We walked on the moon decades ago, but we're still messing around with faulty electronic voting machines, complicated paper ballots or–can you believe it–even chads?
With another crisis on Election Day expected in as many as 10 states, isn't it time move past our messy first-Tuesday-after-the-first-Monday-in-November ritual? Shouldn’t we be getting beyond these voting issues by now?
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