Is the Voting Process Worth the Trouble?

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?

4 thoughts on “Is the Voting Process Worth the Trouble?

  1. Interesting post, I did not have any problems at my voting place. I had a bit of a wait, but that was because I chose to vote at 6pm, along with the other commuters, who just got off the train. So I knew it would be busy. Because of my experience this election and in the past, I think the way things are operated (at least where I vote) work fine. But at places where there were problems, I do think changes should take place. With the lack of judges, I would think that there would be a process of confirming in advance that the judges would show up and having other people as backups, just in case.

  2. Great post. I sounds like an Operations Manager’s worst nightmare. I would think that Illinois should consider enacting a lot of what Missouri has, or find ways to increase the efficiency of the voting system. I personally do not vote, but there is certainly importance to voting, and if the candidates want to preach at people to go out and vote, then they should at least make it easier on people.

  3. Honestly, I have never had a problem with voting, nor found it stressful. I was in and out of my voting place in under ten minutes. I feel like the way the voting is handled is working fine. The voting people have been well informed, and every time election time comes along, people are told where they are supposed to go to vote. And if for whatever reason some people are unaware of their voting place, it is a click away on any electronic device. A ton of websites link back to “Smart Voter,” “Voter411,” “Poll Finder,” or other variations of voter registration websites, in which you type in your zip code and within seconds, you are well informed. Even Facebook and Tumblr had links up that promoted voting and gave locations for polls. I don’t really see a problem with how things are handled.

    As for the people who were waiting for judges, that definitely had to be an inconvenience, but this has to do with the way a particular voting district operates. We vote in districts, and it is the district’s responsibility to be well prepared and operating on point for election day.

  4. When I was in high school I got an opportunity to become an election judge. The set up process was not that hard or time consuming. Everyone set to my station showed up the day before to prep the system and had to be there the next day an hour before polls opened. The unopened polls are ridiculous because of how easy this job was. If anything the city needs to do a better job choosing judges.

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