An Election Day Fix

6 years ago

I believe that there is a critical flaw in the election day polling system. And I think that if it were fixed, more parents would get their vote on.

I'm talking about the standard practice of closing schools on Election Day, forcing millions of parents to bring their school-aged kids to the polls with them.

When I bring my boys out in public there's about a 97% chance that they will misbehave, which brings on unwanted attention, embarrassment and frustration.

They're not monsters or anything – just typical high-energy boys who like to throw books in libraries, roll like breakdancers down supermarket aisles and ram shopping carts into strangers at Target.

I remember when I brought my kids with me to vote in the 2008 Presidential election. Actually, the memory is slightly blurry, which means it was a really bad day and I blocked it out to preserve my psyche. But I do remember my then 2-1/2 year old throwing himself on the floor and sobbing when he realized we weren't there to go boating.

So if we could figure out an alternative to using schools as polling places, we could keep our kids in school and more moms would make it to the polls. I've been thinking of writing a letter to President Obama about this, but I want to be constructive and offer up some voting location alternatives.

Like Dunkin' Donuts. You'd go in and give the guy behind the counter your order and your vote. Like Pumpkin Spiced Latte and Row B. There's a DD in every town in America, isn't there? I personally think this is a genius idea.

Or public libraries. Why can't we vote in there (sans kids of course)? Probably because those gigantic, archaic voting booths from the 1950s won't fit. Time for new voting equipment people! If we could cast our vote on some new device that more closely resembled a smartphone than a torture chamber, tons of people could fit in the library and get their vote on. And the small size of the device would insure that no one could watch you cast your vote for some bizarre Green Party candidate.

Moms with children that are not yet school-aged could vote in Chuck E. Cheese's or My Gym or a similar child play place. But the play place would be staffed with capable, free babysitters who would entertain your kids while you stood in line and cast your vote.

Thankfully, my husband took the day off from work on Election Day, so he can wrangle the kids while I vote, and vice-versa. But I think we have to start now to get a better system in place prior to the 2012 Presidential elections.

Will you be voting on Tuesday? Do you have any other poll reform ideas for my letter to the President?

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