Friday, October 28, 2016

EDITORIAL >> How to cut lines at polls

Early voting sites have seen long lines ever since opening on Monday.

In Jacksonville and Sherwood, people have waited an hour to cast their ballots. We think the long waits are caused by unnecessary, perhaps illegal, requests by poll workers that voters present photo ID. Poll workers should be reminded by election officials that they should not ask voters for identification, only their name and address.

Poll workers deserve better training on that point. Voter fraud is a partisan myth. It seldom occurs, and when it does it isn’t enough to sway an election.

The real election scandal is that most people don’t vote or care to learn about what’s on the ballot.

Another reason why polling sites have lengthy wait times is that there are seven ballot issues, though three have been disqualified by the state Supreme Court but nevertheless will be on the ballots and delaying voters who will struggle to read them and understand them the best they can.

Voters can speed things up by knowing that Issues 4, 5 and 7 have been declared illegitimate for various reasons but not in time to be removed from the ballot. Don’t waste time trying to read through the legalese, because no votes will be counted for those anyway.

But voters should be informed about Issues 1, 2, 3 and 6:

Issue 1 asks voters to extend county officials’ term limits from two years to four.

Issue 2 wants to allow governors to retain their authority while traveling out of state.

Issue 3 asks voters to allow the state and cities to give limitless incentives to businesses in the name of economic development and job creation. Sounds promising, but anyone who had reservations about Jacksonville hiring an out-of-state economic developer should know that cities could fork over millions of dollars to anyone with a convincing sales pitch. They can throw $100 bills down Main Street and call it economic development.

Issue 6 wants to legalize the use of medical marijuana for 17 illnesses.

We hope this helps move things along. Campaign season has gone on long enough.