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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

home : opinions : editorials February 06, 2016

11/27/2012 10:00:00 PM
Editorial: Voters must play part in reforming elections
The Daily Courier

The need for change in the elections process is up for discussion. For example, Yavapai County officials rejected 15 percent of provisional ballots this year. While that is less than half of the number they rejected in the 2008 General Election, they were "rejected" ballots - kind of contrary to the concept of "every vote counts."

Still, some voters who cast early ballots told county elections officials that major party representatives called them to say that their ballots had not yet been counted, and they might want to cast provisional ballots on election day just in case.

Without that pressure, the process would have worked fine - thanks also to the new concept of vote centers. Those were the polls at which Yavapai County registered voters could cast ballots anywhere in this county on Election Day.

This year's changes certainly helped - but further improvement is needed.

To cut down on the party challenge, county officials are eying bar codes and new machines to scan the bar codes on early ballots, so the parties get the names of people who have returned their early ballots faster.

We would add to the list of debate topics to consider modifying the requirements connected to early ballots.

Often we are told that voting is a privilege, and with that should come responsibilities. Too often people request early ballots but do not vote early. They treat the early ballot the same as regular voters see the sample ballot - a tool to make decisions at ease in their home days or weeks before Election Day.

The problem is, early ballots are an accommodation designed to get completed ballots returned by mail, not dropped off at the polls. This, by the way, is center to the challenge and in part creates late counts and after-election-day work.

If you request an early ballot, do two things:

vote and mail it back in time. Holding onto it helps no one.

We pray these ideas and many others will be part of a discussion Dec. 6 between county elections officials and Arizona Secretary of State officials. We must continue to improve elections, preserving the process and this country's concept of democracy.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, December 03, 2012
Article comment by: @ Tom Steele

Tom, you called people to get out the vote but you failed to show up at Murphy's to fulfill your promise. You are a Republican without honor. You give us all a bad name. I was there with the man you promised. Not the way to behave.

Posted: Thursday, November 29, 2012
Article comment by: Novembre Ocho, Trust Nada

We could start with a Justice Dept. review of our Secretary of State's sabotage of the electoral process. Although, Arizona is one of the states subject to review for past discriminatory practices by Republicans. Risk of criminal prosecutions tends to focus the mind.

You can't be against the goal of full voter participation, and for a better technology. Just means you would look for technology that facilitates minority voter suppression. The problem has not been correctly identified to address any solutions.

Complements to Y-County on the ease of voting. Although the primary had the precinct polling place further away, than I think some of my lower income neighbors were willing to walk to. Then again, early voting at Fair Street was a breeze with no waiting and an empty parking spot.

I suspect that national republicans got caught in their own voter suppression trap, as the democrats made early voting a priority. So, some of those long lines would tend toward potential republican voters and who may have been dissuaded.

Posted: Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Article comment by: michelle star

@ Hooty Hoo

"Admit it Courier, the bottom line is that you can't fix stupid." "You can't fix stupid, and truthfully I don't really want those people to vote."

Hooty, would you say that a toothless white redneck Fox News Watcher living in a southern conservative state with a 3rd grade education who voted for Romney would fall into your "stupid" category and shouldn't be able to vote?

What exactly qualifies a voter as "stupid" Hooty? Who are "those" people that you can't "fix?"

by the way Hooty, how smart are you?

Posted: Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Article comment by: @ Looking At

You are a coward and a cheat. You and Dutch Holland made promises if Romney lost to Obama you would fulfill your promise you did not. You are liars. Republicans are unable to beat the "Worst president in the history of the USA" (YOur words.) If you are unable to do that, what are Republicans?

Posted: Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Article comment by: Attentive Listener

When are we told that voting is a privilege? The whole article falls down for me over that one line.

Posted: Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Article comment by: It seems

that all the voting and ballot counting problems occur in areas run by the republicans.

Posted: Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Article comment by: @ There You Go Again

There you go again.

Posted: Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Article comment by: You Gotta Be Smarter...

than the materials you're working with. Perhaps many of our Arizona voters cannot read the instructions on the ballot perhaps? Possibly? Maybe they don't habla Ingles so good?

Posted: Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Article comment by: Hooty Hoo

Admit it Courier, the bottom line is that you can't fix stupid. That pretty much sums up why people get a ballot in the mail, prepaid postage, and on election day they go to some local church and hand it to someone and say: "here's my ballot!". You can't fix stupid, and truthfully I don't really want those people to vote.

Posted: Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Article comment by: J. Madison

Early ballots are not the problem. Maintaining the integrity of the voter registration process is. At least one election has been won in Yavapai county purely as a result of fraudulent registration and the county attorney's office simply dissembled when presented the evidence and charged with enforcing the law. The county attorney's office simply declared that "the law" ambiguous and dropped the matter. We are witnessing the serious decline of the rule of law in this country. The replacement for that principle is corruption. Very sad, indeed.

Posted: Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Article comment by: Scott Adams

There is something wrong with the way government works and the solution is not in reforming elections. Remember, solving problems is not that hard, correctly identifying problems is hard. Government’s inability to correctly identify problems is what they call unintended circumstances. There is a much easier fix to this than you may think.

Posted: Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Article comment by: Tom Steele

There were a number of people I called to get out the vote had not decided on the ballot propositions as yet. By Friday November 2nd, they were told to deliver to Fair Street or hand carry to the polling location on the 6th.

Posted: Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Article comment by: Rose Good

This year, over any other year, demonstrated that politicians will go to any lengths to create legislation that will result in their favor some even admitted it before the election (in Ohio). It is VITAL that we stay informed and get involved on any voter issues or new legislation because they're still working on negative changes to the laws. We don't want these voter fiasco's in 2 yrs when we vote again for Congress.

Posted: Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Article comment by: There You Go Again

Courier: There you go again. It's the voter's fault. Actually you bear much of the responsibility for where this country finds itself. You and your friends in the media. We have been subject to propaganda and emotional nonsensical arguments for decades. Just let government handle it. Now we have a largely indoctrinated populace. What do you expect? Look in the mirror for culprits.

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