Ready for voters

As a representative democracy, the only opportunity American citizens get to take direct action in setting government policy is at the ballot box. And while no citizen should have this freedom abridged, as election season dawns, the bitter reality of our revocable vote sinks in. Just last week, the Supreme Court ruled against an effort by the Ohio Republicans to purge 200,000 people from the voter rolls. This year âÄî as ever âÄî citizens will be obliged to fight for their vote, and we are left to wonder who will be kept from the polls. Fortunately for voters at the University and throughout Minneapolis, that fight will mostly be combating the tedium of waiting in line at the polling station. Cindy Reichert, Minneapolis elections director, was recently interviewed about the cityâÄôs readiness for what will most likely be a record voter turnout. According to Reichert, the Minneapolis Office of Elections attempts to allocate resources to respond to expected activity at the polls. Currently, the city has plans to deal with a turnout as high as 80 percent, although the actual turnout is likely to be much lower. As preparation, Minneapolis has not only worked to get as many voters preregistered as possible, but has worked cooperatively with community groups and prepared to deal with high voter activity in historically low turnout areas. In addition, a small army of election staff has been trained to streamline the processes of voting and same-day registration. Regarding preparedness at the University, Ms. Reichert was adamant on one point: âÄúWe are ready for the crowds, but there will be crowds.âÄù In other words, those who march off to participate in the electoral act will have a ballot waiting for them. Just bring something to read. Democracy, after all, is slow business.