My Congressman, Steve Israel is introducing a new piece of legislation. No its not a ban on congressmen accepting campaign donations from companies related to their committee assignments, that would hurt his reelection campaign. Nor is it a ban on congressmen taking money from people who served time in jail for selling arms to America’s enemies that too would hurt the Congressman’s efforts.
With the economy still faltering, and high gas prices threatening to kill an already feeble recovery, Congressman Israel is working on something very important–“Hey Gang lets move voting from Tuesday to the weekend.”
Rep. Israel introduced The Weekend Voting Act, H.R. 254 in the 111th Congress (2009-2010), which would move Election Day to the weekend. Rep. Israel is planning to reintroduce the legislation during the 112th (2011-2012) Congress.His bill would require polling places in the continental United States to be open on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. EST and close on Sunday at 6:00 p.m. EST during a presidential election.
The Weekend Voting Act would allow people to vote at a more convenient time, which would increase voter turnout. It would also reduce lines at the polls since voting on non-work days would eliminate peak voting times that now occur before and after the typical work voting day.
Getting more people to vote is a noble goal but it hasn’t worked so far. Most states now have “early voting,” and ACORN has proved you don’t even need to be eligible to vote to get an absentee ballot, So moving the vote to the weekend will not increase participation. In fact it might depress voting in the “heartland.”
The Congressman (conveniently?)forgets that there are people who live between the Hudson River and the Rocky Mountains. His scheme would make it harder for them to vote since many of them would not vote on Sunday making the Saturday hours, which are shorter than the normal one day voting, more crowded. Also in the heartland, communities use Churches and Synagogues for voting locations
“In a lot of communities across America, people vote in places of worship. A lot of those places won’t be available,” said UCLA Political Science Professor Lynn Vavreck.
Critics say efforts have already been made to boost voter turnout, like allowing people to vote by mail, but even that hasn’t really helped.
“When you shake it up for people, they don’t figure it out. That will be bad for the process,” adds Vavreck.
Congressman Israel would never understand that. You see, he regards Churches and Synagogues simply places to visit during an election season–a tool to help his Campaign. Maybe that’s why he stiffed my Synagogue out of thousands of dollars when he left. You can’t really expect a man who would do something like that (without a shred of remorse), to understand a house of worship’s value to the entire community.
Now if I was cynical, I would suggest that the real purpose of this bill was to depress voting in areas which tend to vote for conservative candidates but even a political hack such as Steve Israel wouldn’t go that far…..would he?