I didn’t think I would be able to vote in November.
In the midst of a move from Michigan, which included new jobs for both my wife and me, the simple task of registering to vote slipped through the cracks. A few weeks before the election, I realized I had blown it.
At least, that would have been the case in Michigan, where I came from. That state has a deadline requiring residents to register 30 days before an election. Without looking it up, I assumed that also was the case in Wisconsin and I would have to sit out the November 2010 election.
While complaining on Election Day that I missed out, though, my boss said, “Can’t you just go register and vote?” Huh? Register on Election Day?
I was shocked to find out how easy it was. I did not yet have a Wisconsin photo identification, but I did have documentation proving my residency. I was quite thankful for the same-day voting allowance.
But, I must admit, I also felt the same way some Republicans do. Republican lawmakers argue that the ease of Wisconsin’s voting process leaves the system open to fraud. Honestly, while going through it, I would have agreed.
Yet, despite how possible voter fraud might seem, there is no evidence that it is happening. And, unless there is a problem, why create a solution?
I have mixed feelings about proposed changes to the state’s voting laws. On the surface, it would seem like the system is indeed vulnerable. But if few people are taking advantage of it, should Wisconsin risk silencing the voices of would-be voters?
Sure, it was my fault that I had forgotten to vote before Election Day. But I’m glad Wisconsin’s voting rules forgave me.