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Mail-in voting would increase participation

November 1, 2012
Gordon C. Cockett , The Maui Weekly

This past primary election, didn't we have a 20 percent voter turnout? What a shame! People just don't want to drive to the polling places and go through the "rig-ma-roll" that goes on there.

So what do other states do? Several of them do it by mail; the State of Oregon has been doing it since 1998 and gets a 90 percent turnout. I went on Google to check it, and there is so much there to learn.

Of course, you can do it voluntarily now by registering for an absentee ballot, but it costs a lot of money to maintain the polls and all the precinct workers now. Oregon says it saves a lot of money since it went to the mail system. My wife and I have done it for several elections now, and we both think it's great. We switched when I started working the precinct I voted in and found it so much easier. I would not go back to the old way again.

Just think--after registering for it, you get your ballot in the mail, you then vote at home at your convenience, put the ballot back in the mail and you're done. All pau now. You don't have to drive to your polling place, stand in line to wait for your ballot, then maybe have to wait for a booth to open. Then you vote and walk to the machine where you deposit your ballot. Finally, you can walk to your car and drive to wherever it was that you wanted to be in the first place.

Now, how can we accomplish this? First of all, I think we have to talk to our politicians, both state and county. I called the elections office in Honolulu this morning and learned that the governor has mentioned being in favor of it. Of course he would--and all of our politicians should favor it, too. It would save a lot of money, first of all, and save voters a lot of time, too.

I'm told that some people might like driving to the polling places just to "talk story." But you can still drive to the County Building anytime to do that. "Get plenny guys ova daya fo talk wit."

Gordon C. Cockett




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