Obenshain on voting extension bill

Brent Finnegan -- February 27th, 2008

What if there’s bad weather or a major emergency on voting day? Should voting hours be extended past 7:00 to ensure everyone in the “affected region” gets a chance to vote? That’s what Senate Bill 796 proposes. The State Senate is currently deliberating it. I spotted this gem on dailypress.com today:

McEachin and Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Harrisonburg, both politically sophisticated lawyers, shuddered at the potential for confusion, inequity and mischief.

“I mean,” Obenshain said in frustration, one hand kneading his forehead, “…. how do you define an affected region?”

4 Responses to “Obenshain on voting extension bill”

  1. finnegan says:

    Looks like WHSV either read this blog, or saw the dailypress.com story.

  2. JGFitzgerald says:

    As a long-time election judge, I find myself agreeing with Mark, whose wife Suzanne is a longer-time member of the Electoral Board in Harrisonburg. The other side of the voting extension is having poll workers, many of them retirees, closing the polls and filling out paperwork after 16 hours instead of 14. That’s not a trivial difference, and increases the risk of an error large enough to wipe out any gain from staying open later. And to second-guess anyone with an easy answer, anyone who thinks “they” ought to get younger Election Day volunteers needs to get his or her young ass to the registrar’s office to volunteer. The answer to many of the Election Day problems begins in the precincts with people trying to do their level-headed best to assure each voter a fair and equal opportunity to vote and then spending the evening adding, sorting, and packaging. The law already says if you’re in line at seven you get to vote. So get there by seven.

    I say this while kneading my forehead, and needing the two hours for paperwork.

  3. finnegan says:

    I certainly see the potential for major problems there.

    I just liked that bit of description in the story.

  4. JGFitzgerald says:

    They shoulda used a picture. Strange to be agreeing with Senator Mark and the DNR editorial page both in one week. I’m gonna get kicked out of the party. (He says, kneading his forehead in despair and frustration.)

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