Early Voting Won’t Work Unless Voters Are Fully Informed In Time To Make A Plan To Vote
Susie and Sam live around the corner from us. They’re Democrats, registered to vote locally, though they’re usually here only for long weekends.
For years, Susie and Sam have signed my petitions and listened to my pitches on candidates and issues. They normally vote absentee, but sometimes they’re here on Election Day and vote in person.
We didn’t get to talk this year, but I know they pay attention to our voting messages that go out to all Democrats.
On Friday June 18, I got a text from Susie asking if they should early-vote in the primary that day. I answered that they should and gave them a quick rundown on the judicial contest.
Later Susie sent another text, saying: “Went to town to vote but told we have to go to SH COLLEGE.”
The caps told me she was a little dismayed that they couldn’t just vote at the nearby firehouse as usual. I responded with the voting times for Friday and the weekend, but that didn’t help because they were leaving the area early the next day.
Susie and Sam didn’t vote because they didn’t have the info they needed in time to make a plan to vote.
Both part-time and full-time residents can be caught short if they get the early voting information too late.
People tend to leave the voting and information gathering to the last minute, and when they learn at the last minute that they have to trek to Southampton College and it closes at 3:00 that day, they don’t do it.
We must inform voters fully in advance so they can make a plan to vote. It’s not enough to say you can vote early from June 12 to June 20, check out the times and locations at SuffolkVotes.com. They have to be told up front that it’s just the one polling place in town, Southampton College, at limited times, and if that doesn’t work for them and they can’t be here on Election Day, then they should vote absentee.
So that’s how I lost two votes. I won’t make that mistake again.