The Instigator
PiningForASilverLining
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
positivitypatrol
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Polling stations during Elections should be conducted over a longer period than a single day

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/23/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 800 times Debate No: 35911
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (0)

 

PiningForASilverLining

Pro

There are a number of inconveniences when it comes to voting in American elections, but foremost it is getting to the polling station on the particular day. In our computerized society I see no reason for there to be single election days besides for the drama it creates and TV dollars it generates.

I propose that polling during elections be at least a week's worth of time

A few assumptions to be kept in mind
1. all results will be held till the end of polling
2. systems in place to ensure no re-voting or fraudulent voting

Round 1 Opening statements
Round 2 rebuttals to Round 1
Round 3 closing arguments
positivitypatrol

Con

This is my first debate, so forgive me if I"m not exactly sure how it works. Here is my best case for single day polling:

I submit that voting should be on one day only and as a secondary statement submit that the day could be moved to Saturday, if needed. No absentee mail in ballots should be allowed either.

1. Internet access is widespread in America (about 75% at home according to US census) that people who cannot make it to a polling location on a specific day can still vote. People who do not have access to the Internet certainly have reasonable means to find access (friend, library, school, work). Anyone who claims they absolutely cannot get to the Internet for any reason probably means they did not get to a connection because they did not value the vote.
http://www.census.gov...

2. A single day vote may actually increase voter turnout. If the day is made special like Super Bowl Sunday, perhaps turnout will increase over the current apathetic levels. Last year, television ratings for the Super Bowl were about twice as high as the rounds that led up to the single day game. The reason is that it was made special, the weeks preceding the game lead up to the Super Bowl, and it was limited time frame. Those factors bring in the casual fan. On an anecdotal level, ask people next year after the game who did not watch to provide you a reason. My educated guess would be they did not watch because sports does not interest them, not because they could not find a television or device to watch it on.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
http://www.usatoday.com...

3. Inconvenience is not the major reason people don"t vote. As it is now, most states have absentee ballots that allow citizens to mail in their ballots over the course of weeks in some cases. Yet, voter turnout is still low. With the option of mailing in a ballot or showing up at the polls, participation is not low because people cannot get to a physical location on a Tuesday, it is low because the non-voters don"t care to vote for a variety of reasons. Some major reasons are: people feel like the government has for whatever reason let them down, they don"t follow politics so they don"t care to vote and the Electoral College technically elects the president so why bother?

4. I would be in favor of moving the single day from Tuesday to Saturday. Since more people work on weekdays than weekends, the Saturday date could increase voter turnout as well as provide opportunities for local celebrations and parades. If an election day were ever to bring in the casual voter like Super Bowl Sunday brings in the casual sports fan, the aforementioned civic celebrations might be the only avenue.

5. I will admit that computers can be hacked and online voting on a single day could open the process up for fraud. However, I would submit that just because a problem exists does not mean the activity should always be avoided. When cars became faster, engineers designed seat belts, they didn"t avoid driving over 20 miles per hour. Election fraud is rampant now anyway (will the word Florida suffice?). Also, online identity theft occurs but people still shop online and go on social media sites, they just need to be more careful. Since we won"t be eliminating all online activity just because it can be dangerous, why would we avoid online voting?
Debate Round No. 1
PiningForASilverLining

Pro

PiningForASilverLining forfeited this round.
positivitypatrol

Con

Nothing new to add, will be happy to respond to arguments counter to Rd #1.
Debate Round No. 2
PiningForASilverLining

Pro

I often wonder if the single day voting is meant to curb voter fraud. No I don't think so. I think its discrimination against the poor and those that have to work 2 or 3 jobs to survive and feed their family.

Suggestion 1 to improve voting: I think that the first time people register to vote (age 18 or above) they should be required to give a fingerprint, than at least there would be a record to identify an individual without having to require a photo ID.

I don't see how a fingerprint would be invasion of privacy and it would also be free. You only have to prove who you are once with a birth certificate or other suffiecient form of ID (barring any scaring on your fingers). If this database could be used solely for elections and not accessible to law enforcement (of course could we trust them?) You'd only know a person's finger pad pattern, not what they look like and people would not have to have a photo ID if they didn't want to.

Then, you could take your time to vote. Voting at your own convenience. Currently its just a tv spectacle with winners being declared often before even 50% of the vote is in for districts and states. Its not as if the switch from incumbent to the next elected official is happening that next day. Usually its like 3 months till the handover. Pretty much everything must kowtow to the tv networks. Too much money for tv. Sports are slaves to tv as well.

For those that want national ID cards or required photo IDs YET they want total privacy and no records to match who voted for who, you can't have both.

Suggestion #2: Better yet, align voting and taxes, then if you want to vote you have to pay your taxes (which should already be the case, even if you owe nothing or expect a refund) No taxes, no vote. Citizens benefit from services and infrastructure provided by taxes and it is their duty to pay them, voting should also be a duty of a citizen.

EVEN putting the voting date on Saturday is still going to be impossible for some people. There aren't absentee ballots everywhere. Why not go further and make Voting Day a national holiday? Say President's Day? or Veteran's Day? All non-essential businesses are closed and all essential ones required to only have half day. We have holidays for really stupid crap (some just commercial holidays really), but we should celebrate voting. Representation is what we revolted from England for

Still, having enough time to vote over the period of time of a week, a few weeks, or some agreed upon length of time, would be best and not have any more problems than we already have. At least then there could be no excuse for not voting. As of now many people have an excuse and some a legitimate complaint Also, voter intimidation at a polling station would take a lot more effort if it had to be manned for longer than a single day and hopefully happen less
positivitypatrol

Con

1. "I often wonder if the single day voting is meant to curb voter fraud. No I don't think so. I think its discrimination against the poor".

Response: with all the avenues available on a single day vote (Internet at library, shelters, could provide other government locations) voting would not only be available to all Americans but it could be convenient.

2. "...Those that have to work 2 or 3 jobs to survive and feed their family.

Response: currently all states have a form of absentee voting (vote via mail, early, etc...). Here is a link to every state"s absentee voting policy: http://www.ncsl.org....

Additionally, if the single day voting were a national holiday, that modification would eliminate work issues. Either way, every state in the country currently allows citizens to provide their work excuse and vote early.

3. "Suggestion 1 to improve voting: I think that the first time people register to vote (age 18 or above) they should be required to give a fingerprint, than at least there would be a record to identify an individual without having to require a photo ID. I don't see how a fingerprint would be invasion of privacy and it would also be free. You only have to prove who you are once with a birth certificate or other suffiecient form of ID (barring any scaring on your fingers). If this database could be used solely for elections and not accessible to law enforcement (of course could we trust them?) You'd only know a person's finger pad pattern, not what they look like and people would not have to have a photo ID if they didn't want to."

Response: with so much difficulty passing voter ID policies, logging fingerprints would prove implausible for two reasons. First, one argument against voter ID is that some have difficulty finding their birth certificate or other forms of ID. Second, many feel it is an invasion of their privacy and denies them their right to vote. Although I support voter ID laws, the fingerprint policy would be a step up in both categories.

4. "Then, you could take your time to vote. Voting at your own convenience. Currently its just a tv spectacle with winners being declared often before even 50% of the vote is in for districts and states. Its not as if the switch from incumbent to the next elected official is happening that next day. Usually its like 3 months till the handover. Pretty much everything must kowtow to the tv networks. Too much money for tv. Sports are slaves to tv as well."

Response: if the vote were done over a period of weeks, the spectacle and drama would be dragged out and exacerbated even more than it is now. For example, television shows such as The Bachelorette rely on this type of drama to generate ratings. Presidential elections that only occur once every four years would play right into this type of sensationalism. Additionally, the voting could not occur during the transition period between November and January. During this time, the president-elect needs to conduct business related to a smooth transition between leaders. Therefore, the vote needs to be finalized by early November, it cannot drag on for months. Although the Electoral College process does not officially elect the president until much later, there has never been a President-elect who was not officially elected by the Electoral College.

5. "For those that want national ID cards or required photo IDs YET they want total privacy and no records to match who voted for who, you can't have both."

Response: displaying an ID in order to vote but maintaining total privacy on the actual person the voter selected is completely possible. The ID provides the voter the ballot, the voter then votes privately.

6. "Suggestion #2: Better yet, align voting and taxes then if you want to vote you have to pay your taxes (which should already be the case, even if you owe nothing or expect a refund) No taxes, no vote. Citizens benefit from services and infrastructure provided by taxes and it is their duty to pay them, voting should also be a duty of a citizen.(I agree both are duties, but like I argued in Round 1, apathy is the problem)"

Response: The IRS is currently backlogged as it is (see link below), so involving them in the voting process would provide an even more significant delay. Additionally, the IRS experiences tax evasion fraud as well as their own surveillance scandals (see link below), so convincing Americans to provide fingerprints would be next to impossible. Lastly, you mentioned single day voting being a burden on the poor. Surely attaching a financial requirement to the vote (albeit a legally assessed tax) could provide a disincentive to conduct both actions (paying taxes and voting) and could also create discrimination similar to post-Civil War poll taxes used to deny African Americans their right to vote. It also could provide the undue burden on the poor that you refer to at the start of your argument.

IRS backlog link: http://www.cchgroup.com...

IRS scandal link: http://news.investors.com...

7. "EVEN putting the voting date on Saturday is still going to be impossible for some people. There aren't absentee ballots everywhere. Why not go further and make Voting Day a national holiday? Say President's Day? or Veteran's Day? All non-essential businesses are closed and all essential ones required to only have half day. We have holidays for really stupid crap (some just commercial holidays really), but we should celebrate voting. Representation is what we revolted from England for"

Response: every state has a policy to allow citizens to vote on a day that is not the national voting day: http://www.ncsl.org....

I think our common ground is, however, to make voting day a national holiday.

8. "Still, having enough time to vote over the period of time of a week, a few weeks, or some agreed upon length of time, would be best and not have any more problems than we already have. At least then there could be no excuse for not voting. As of now many people have an excuse and some a legitimate complaint Also, voter intimidation at a polling station would take a lot more effort if it had to be manned for longer than a single day and hopefully happen less"

Response: As I stated in Round 1, the reasons people provide currently are many times just excuses since there are plenty of avenues for citizens to vote under our current system. It would also be easier for people to intimidate voters since the government would have a tough time manning polling locations for weeks or months instead of for just one day.

I had fun with my first debate, thanks for posting, this is a great topic.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Juan_Pablo 4 years ago
Juan_Pablo
I think any resolution that can effectively prevent voting fraud and re-voting, while cutting down on hours spent waiting in line at a polling station would be fantastic!

In some districts during the 2012 election, for example, people had to wait in excess of four hours just to vote, because some states refused to increase the number of actual voting day. Why make people suffer like that?
Posted by Ragnar 4 years ago
Ragnar
Oddly I disagree with the resolution, yet agree with the argument. I live in Oregon, where we can mail our ballots in.
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