Tuesday, August 26, 2014

EDITORIAL >> Don’t end early voting

Jacksonville voters will decide Sept. 16 on forming their own school district. They can vote early starting Sept. 9-Sept. 15 at the Jacksonville Community Center, William F. Laman Library in North Little Rock and the Pulaski County Regional Building in downtown Little Rock.

There’s no Saturday voting, but there will be plenty of time to cast ballots before the election. Early voting is a real convenience and promotes democracy.

That may not be the case in Lonoke County, where the election commission last Friday could not decide on extending early voting in Carlisle and England. Cabot and Lonoke have had early voting, and the Democrats on the commission pushed for limited early voting in Carlisle and England.

Chuck Eick, representative of the Lonoke County Republican Committee on the elections commission, balked at the idea of having one week of early voting in Carlisle and England, citing the cost of paying for voting machines. He likes the idea of two weeks of early voting in Cabot and Lonoke, but the Democrats wanted to extend the franchise to Carlisle and England.

Since commissioners must vote unanimously on election procedures, no agreement was reached on early voting. It looks like no one will vote early in Lonoke County in November. But the commission will meet again Friday to reconsider the matter. Let’s hope they do.

A good turnout from a cross-section of Lonoke County residents might convince the election commission to extend early voting to Carlisle and England. Folks around Cabot and Lonoke have enjoyed early voting, and it would be unfair to deprive everyone of that convenience.