The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

February 12, 2013

Our View: We’d vote for this

— Joplin Mayor Melodee Colbert-Kean was named last week to a state commission that will study early voting.

So maybe this would be a good time for us to put in our two cents: It’s time.

First, it would stop making liars out of the people who vote absentee even though they aren’t leaving town on election days. And who can blame them for taking a little advantage of a system that needs to be updated?

If voting on a Saturday makes more sense for some people, then so be it. Yes, we know our forefathers traveled days and days so they could get to the nearest town to vote. Isn’t it nice that we don’t have to?

Proposals for early or advance voting in Missouri would allow advance voting from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at central locations and satellites starting on the third Wednesday — and on Saturday mornings — before an election.

And by the way, our support for early voting doesn’t mean we are in favor of a government mandate that says you have to present a photo ID at the polls — one that has been issued by the government — before you are allowed to vote.

Early voting speaks to the disenfranchised voter and sends the message that the system does not have to be so inflexible. Voter ID, on the other hand, is a solution looking for a problem. We don’t see that it is necessary.

The House will be taking up the issue of voter ID this week. We would challenge legislators to focus on laws that make voting easier and more efficient.

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