In 2015, voter turnout in Raleigh was less than 15%. While that is pathetic, we shouldn’t shame these non-voters. Voting is hard, y’all. If you have young children you might as well kiss democracy goodbye. Between dropping the kids off at White Memorial, running to Starbucks, then picking them back up three hours later and heading to multiple afternoon play groups, voting is the last thing on the minds of ITB moms.
They aren’t the only ones struggling. You think an ITB dad can cut a 2 hour lunch meeting short, or skip playing the back 9 at the Club just so they can drive to a polling place and wait in line to vote?
Then there’s the youth vote. I did my best to get the younger demographic interested in voting by having ITBlake the intern put campaign signs out for hours last week. Unfortunately, he isn’t old enough to vote in this election.
But I’m not giving up. I’m confident we can solve this issue with some common sense voting reform. Here are a few simple ways to make voting in Raleigh easier.
Raleigh offers curbside voting, but it’s not available to everyone. Solution: drive-thru voting. We don’t even have to make citizens drive to their polling locations, we’ll just add a voting booth to every drive-thru in Raleigh. We’ll be sure to add two voting machines to the Cameron Village Chick-fil-A double drive-thru.
LaCroix Voting Machines
In the last election, the machine at my voting site jammed and it took 20 minutes to fix. That’s right, in 2016 the technology being used to select the President of the United States can jam like an InkJet printer from the 1990s. Voting machines should be on every corner. What happens to be on corners all over town that isn’t being used right now? Newspaper dispensers. We’ll simply convert these dispensers into ballot boxes. “But how will we stop voter fraud if anyone can go vote at some random machine?” Easy. Retinal scans on each ballot box will ensure each citizen can only vote once and that they are of age. We’ll even brand them with a LaCroix wrap and offer a free LaCroix to make millennials more interested in voting. I’m sure some startup company will come along and create an app that uses GPS to let people know how close they are to the nearest LaCroix booth, and also upload a selfie after they vote.
It’s a known fact that cases of carpal tunnel skyrocket on election day. Filling in those tiny circles with a Bic pen takes hours. Give citizens Sharpies and they’ll be in and out in under 6 seconds.
Social Media Stats
Let’s be honest, most citizens have never heard of half of these candidates. To help educate voters, the candidate’s social media following should be posted next to their name. We should also come up with some sort of “engagement rate” so voters know how responsive their candidates will be on social media.
The “I Voted” sticker should be monogrammed. Plain and simple.
More Time To Vote
Democracy is too important for us to only care about for one day. I know there’s early voting, but it seems like the dates and locations are always changing and it’s so hard to keep up with. That’s why polls should be open for 365 days. After a year of being open, we’ll tally the votes to see who the winners are.
If we can come together and agree on common sense voting reform I guarantee voter turnout will be at least 90% in future elections.