10. Voting Procedures and Instructions

Several Voting Methods

All voters should be able to vote either through the mail (such as through the use of absentee ballots), through the telephone, through the Internet, or by going to an official polling place. Special registration to vote by mail should not be required.

Flexible Voting Schedule

Every person should be allowed to vote on all issues on the ballot up to one month before the regularly scheduled day of the election. If, for example, an election is scheduled for November 7th, then voting should be allowed to begin on October 7th. Voting at the scheduled voting place may not be an option throughout this entire voting window, but voters should be allowed to vote through the telephone, internet, mail, or by going to an official central voting place like city hall, or a police station, etc.

Perhaps an allowance should be made for people who desire to change their vote at any time after they cast their original vote up to election day (because one month is a significant length of time in which people could change their minds), but a fee should be charged for such a service to compensate the government for costs associated with such an option as well as to discourage people from relying too much on this option as a substitute for thinking deeply about how they plan to vote.

Critical Voting Instructions

Voters should never feel as though they are required to vote on every race or issue on the ballot, especially those for which they feel they are not adequately informed or for which they do not have a favored outcome. As part of the voting instructions given to all voters on their ballots and in the voting booth, they should be told that they have the option to vote only on those races on the ballot for which they feel informed enough to make a decision. Voters should also have the option to check boxes marked “No Preference/Abstain” for every race or measure on a ballot.

Disinterested Voters Should Not be Encouraged to Vote

Uninterested eligible voters, especially those who are not educated about the issues, should not be encouraged to vote because they may actually damage the public’s wellbeing. Instead, they should be encouraged to abstain from voting until they become interested enough to become educated on the issues. This way, when they do vote, they would actually benefit society by casting an educated vote and they would be using the voting system as it was intended to be used.

Leave a Reply