November 2, 2012

Editorial: Early voting fails to achieve goal in Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA — We find that early voting in the state of Oklahoma started far too late this year.

In the majority of other states in the union, voters had upwards of 10 working days before the election to cast their ballots. Here, there are only three days before Nov. 6 where votes can takes place.

We feel this defeats the purpose of early voting.

In 2008, 30 percent of all ballots cast were received during early voting.

The idea behind this process is to make it easier for our populous to cast their votes. With only three days to do so before the general election, voters can expect long lines and a time consuming process. These are the exact problems that early voting is intended to solve.

No one at the state election board seems to know why there is such a late start, which is even more frustrating.

We find actions without justification to be deplorable.

In the future we would like to see Oklahoma instill early voting dates that begin in a reasonable time compared to election day.

There is nothing wrong with setting early voting dates that start two weeks prior to election day. This will allow for voters to cast their ballots in a timely manner and will increase overall voter participation.

We have a civic responsibility to vote, but our state government should make it as easy as possible for citizens to engage in that responsibility.

This year, in that regard,  Oklahoma's government failed.

Editorials represent a consensus of The Express-Star's editorial board.

The board is comprised of the publisher, editor and various staff members.


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