Voting is Worth the Wait

Once again a Letter to the Editor in the Washington Post struck me just right:

Friday, October 31, 2008

Looking at the Oct. 29 Metro headline “Never Seen Crowds Like This,” I felt a little disgusted — not because the lines for voting were so long; not because voters were being inconvenienced; and not because we all have busy lives. It was because it seems that our priorities are out of whack.

I wonder how long many of these “inconvenienced” voters have waited in line for tickets to big games, movies or concerts — three or four hours, maybe?

The last time I went out to eat on a busy weekend, I was told the wait would be between 45 and 70 minutes — and that was just for a seat. And what about the last time you or someone you know went to one of the more popular theme parks? I’ve heard of people waiting one, two or three hours per ride — yet theme park visitors go on three or four rides per day.

Truth is, voting isn’t an inconvenience. I don’t care how long it takes.

Five or 10 minutes is nice. That’s the norm. But take a book, perhaps one on American history, in case your wait is longer. What can you say about people who will wait several hours for a theme park ride or to see the celebrity du jour but can’t be bothered with a line on Election Day?


Mr. Kirchhoefer, however you may pronounce your name, you really hit the nail on the head. Very few countries in the world today – or at any time in history – see the regular peaceful transfer of power that is the election process we enjoy, that so many find “inconvenient” or ignore – only to bitch when those elected do something they don’t like (or do nothing at all).


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