Thursday, July 26, 2007

Rock the vote--don't rock the boat.

"One-stop" voting--the early voting option that we've had for a number of years in Chapel Hill on the UNC campus--was an idea whose time, I thought, had come. This could be the year when it has come and gone. Barry Garner, director of the Orange County Board of Elections, is proposing to move the location to the new Robert and Pearl Seymour Senior Center. Ideally, it should be at both places. Ideally, voting should be convenient to everybody--students, seniors, and everyone in between. It doesn't seem right to have to choose.

But Garner says he can't justify both. This year, the Morehead Planetarium, where the voting has been in the past, is going to be unavailable because of a construction project. But according to Mike Tarrant, vice president of the UNC student body, UNC is offering alternatives, including the Student Union, which would be a fine location.

Every election year, the Town makes an effort to get out the student vote. All I have to do is think about my own undergraduate days to realize that voting in your adopted town is not something that comes automatically. Students need all the reasons they can find to vote in municipal elections. Again, I wish the choice didn't have to be made. I'd like to see "one stop" voting on campus and at the Senior Center. But if there has to be a choice, I think the better one is to keep it on campus.

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