Opinion

The Great Debate

A vote for ‘Election Week’

 

Our presidential campaigns culminate on one day, election day, for our national vote. But the focus is on far more than a single day. The differing rules for early voting in many key battleground states, including Florida and Ohio, have already led to alleged partisan manipulation and last-minute lawsuits.

To address all these voting problems we should consider adopting a uniform, federally mandated early voting period for all voters. Call it Election Week.

On Election Week, polls would be open for seven days, all day for all voters. Beyond taking away one avenue for court involvement in vote-casting disputes, this could offer other significant advantages.

First, it would lead to greater access for more voters, making it easier for Americans to find a time to vote while reducing long lines throughout the week. It is absurd that some citizens have to wait hours in line to vote.

A full week would also avoid problems for religious voters, who might not want to vote on a particular day, while still allowing churches to have “souls to the polls” programs on a Sunday after church.

Can Obama fire up younger voters?

 

As national attention focuses on the devastation inflicted on Atlantic states by megastorm Sandy, polls show the same basic electoral reality that has prevailed throughout the presidential campaign: Without a strong turnout among young voters, President Barack Obama loses on Nov. 6.

So, Obama may need more than fiery “go vote!” entreaties to students to overcome his presidency’s disorganized, mixed record on youth issues.

New polls taken nationally and in key swing states (Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, Colorado, Iowa, Florida, Nevada and Wisconsin) show how crucial young voters are to the president’s reelection. Obama leads Republican challenger Mitt Romney among 18- to 29-year-olds by landslide margins, more than offsetting the mildly pro-Romney sentiments of their elders.

It’s the (lack of) unity, stupid!

What we expect to hear in the closing days of a campaign is a call to arms.  Instead, what we’re hearing from both sides is a call to disarm.

“I’m going to have to reach across the aisle and meet with good Democrats who love America just like you love America,” Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney told a recent campaign rally in Virginia.  “And there are good Democrats like that.”

“In the end, we’re all in this together,” President Barack Obama said at a rally in Wisconsin.  “We rise and fall as one nation, one people.”

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