Patchwork of Election Laws Makes Voting Complicated

Readers Respond to Specific Passages from Obama's Address

Yahoo Contributor Network

Yahoo News asked readers and contributors to briefly respond to passages from Barack Obama's State of the Union address. Here's one reaction.

Obama on voting problems: "We must all do our part to make sure our God-given rights are protected here at home. That includes our most fundamental right as citizens: the right to vote. When any Americans - no matter where they live or what their party - are denied that right simply because they can't wait for five, six, seven hours just to cast their ballot, we are betraying our ideals. That's why, tonight, I'm announcing a non-partisan commission to improve the voting experience in America."

My response:

The voting experience is vastly different from state to state, due to a patchwork of laws regarding early voting. While individual states may be working to restrict or to broaden access to the polls, it's up to the voter each election year to try to research what those restrictions entail. It can be deeply frustrating.

A non-partisan commission can make recommendations, but it will be up to the politicians to implement those suggestions. There needs to be more demand from Americans to see the process through, or else this promise will just be another feel-good initiative that goes nowhere.

Shawn Humphrey is a former contributor to The Flint Journal and lives near Washington D.C. in Germantown, Maryland.

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