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CLINE: Voting easy, but turnout still lacking

Todd Cline

Todd Cline

We like easy. And in a microwaveable, push-a-button, have-it-delivered world we are always looking for easier. Problem is, when it comes to voting, it's about as easy as it's going to be for the foreseeable future.

The Democratic and Republican primaries were held Tuesday, and election officials said less than a third of Gwinnett's registered voters participated. And there aren't a lot of excuses, just good old lethargy.

You can't blame Tuesday's weather. Heck, you can't blame the day of the week at all. With early and absentee voting available, you could have already knocked out your voting and be on the beach somewhere this week, content that you had done your civic duty and championed the candidates of your choice.

For about two-thirds of Gwinnett's registered voters, that wasn't the case. And the reason is that while voting is a relatively simple process, it's not as easy as we'd like or have become accustomed to in other parts of our life.

On election day, you can't get a ballot delivered to your home like Chinese takeout. And you can't have your spouse put in your vote for you, like it was milk to be picked up at the store. More to the point, there's no easy button for voting, to borrow one retailer's commercial phrase.

Tuesday's low turnout comes as no surprise, which is quite a commentary in itself. We've all become accustomed to this unalienable right being disregarded, skipped over like a piece of junk mail. I'm sure some of it is "I'll vote in the general election," which is OK, I guess, if the candidate or candidates you supported are still there to be selected.

Though no offices were won on Tuesday night, much was determined -- think Georgia's governor the next four years will have some affect on you? -- by a group of voters representing the few instead of the many. Again, none if this is earth-shattering news, just what we've all come to accept.

But what if this simple task was even easier? What if we could push that easy button and be done with it? How would voting go then?

Pretty well, I think we'd all agree. But until Facebook comes up with an official ballot or a voting app is developed for smart phones, we'll continue to see plenty of "I like this" on the Web and not as much "I like this candidate" at the polls.

E-mail Todd Cline at todd.cline@gwinnettdailypost.com. His column appears on Wednesdays.