Let’s just say you need to go to the grocery store to pick up a few things and you only have $70 to spend. You’re pretty savvy with a computer so you go online to check prices at all your neighboring stores and you find the best deals at a store a little farther away than the closest but you will save $14 on your total bill, deducting $1 for gas you’ve come out $13 ahead. With that $13 you can maybe spend it on the kids school supplies, gas in the car, or you could just save it for your next trip to the store.
As I’m typing this people are filing into the Elections Board offices to voice their opinion about the closing of some polling places and consolidating some. The left is calling foul and accusing the right of limiting the rights of voters. I see this as an opportunity to re-think the whole process and save the voters time and money and increase voter turnout.
We have a population of about 52,000 people living in Watauga County with about 16,000 registered voters. Of those voters only 2,323 voted in the last municipal elections. I am guessing that the cost to taxpayers to hold an election is between $30-50,000. That equates to about $13-21 per vote. I would like propose a compromise to this situation to both make it extremely convenient for voters and to save the taxpayers money.
I would like to see voters receiving a form of compensation for turning out. We had in the last municipal election less than 15% voter turnout because it was still inconvenient for most, or maybe just apathetic to the whole of politics. Voters still have to make a special trip to a polling station.
We all have to shop and where does America shop the most? Wal-Mart. They have plenty of parking are open all night and everybody goes there whether they admit it or not. Would this not be much more convenient for most people?
We could even get coupons for discounts on your shopping. It would be perfect for Christmas savings for families. Get $20 off any $100 purchase, $50 off a $500 purchase just in time for Thanksgiving and the Holidays. We could even extend the hours for voting, be able to hire less staff and save taxpayers money. We could use the savings to help fund school lunch programs, contribute to local charities or buy fuel oil for the elderly.
I know this will meet with firm opposition from both parties because no politician wants to admit there is an alternative to their party’s platform. Common sense loses every time when politicians speak. My, two cents worth.
John J. Mena
378 Grand Blvd.
Boone, NC 28607