November 4th was voting day for midterm elections. Unfortunate problems occurred on Tuesday in Illinois, especially in Chicago. These problems ranged from inoperable voting machines, missing ballot pages, closed polling stations, and missing judges. I don’t claim to know much about the voting process, but evidently judges need to be present at all polling stations, and many stations on Tuesday did not have judges present, so some polling stations had to delay voting for as much as 3 hours until the judges arrived. These problems caused reportedly hundreds of people to leave polling stations to go home. Illinois governor candidates Pat Quinn and Bruce Rauner preached the importance of getting out and going to vote. There were already concerns that not enough people get out and vote, so these problems aren’t going to help matters. I’m wondering if there is a more effective way for the voting process to work.
Being born and raised in Illinois, I am fairly familiar with the vibe Election Day gives off here. My mom always dragged me and my siblings to the polling stations with her after school so she could go and vote. Even as a kid, I despised going with her so she can vote. Even as a child, I realized that polling stations are a complete mess and a headache. Assuming everything runs smoothly, voting is still a lengthy and stressful process. Add in the unpredictable problems like in this year’s Election Day, and the excuses people use for not voting pile up.
Yes, some people take advantage of early mail-in voting. But being realistic, most people aren’t going to do that. Voting should be encouraged everywhere, but to do that the process itself needs to avoid being overwhelmingly stressful to potential voters. Aside from the actual Election Day, many complain that they don’t know where to go or how to register to vote. I know these answers can be found if you look hard enough, but for the majority of Americans, these problems and concerns are relatable and reasonable. I am not sure if this is a state concern or national concern, but everything about the voting process should be less complicating and stressful.
Missouri took initiative this year and did their best to make Election Day run as smooth as possible. At many polling stations, they had 2 buildings at polling stations operate as opposed to 1, to allow quicker and smoother voting. Many other states implemented small and minor changes as well. However, the overall process, especially in Illinois, seems to be lacking organizational structure and order.
What changes, if any, do you think should be implemented to the voting process? Or do you like the way things operate as is?