West Virginia is two-thirds democrat, so the state doesn’t do ANYTHING, unless it benefits the democrats in some way. A few years ago, my county went to computerized ballots. I told my wife that it probably had nothing to do with ease of counting or with “hanging chads.” Older folks tend to vote more conservative than younger folks, and many older folks don’t feel comfortable voting by computer. As a result, the democrats KNEW that some older voters would quit voting, and that was apparently fine by them. Also, unlike the old days when paper ballots presented a certain amount of physical evidence to be overcome to rig an election (though it was often done), computerized voting can be rigged so even an expert has a hard time detecting it. I figure that gave the democrats in West Virginia a double advantage. My wife was one of those who quit voting when we said good-bye to paper ballots.
This election, the state won’t allow you to vote a straight ticket. You must vote for each office separately. Once again, some older folks in BOTH parties will decide that it’s too cumbersome and confusing, and simply stop voting. Once again, the democrat leadership must feel that’s just hunky-dory. Even older democrats would balk at some of the donkeys on the ballot THIS year, so the state committee probably hopes the old folks WILL stay home.
Naturally, they have a great humanitarian excuse for the change. They say that many folks who voted straight tickets didn’t bother to vote on the levies and bonds at the end of the ballot. They say that since folks have to go clear through the ballot this year, many more will vote on the school bonds and such. Maybe they’re right, but they’re thinking those voters will SUPPORT those levies and bonds. I think they may be in for a rude awakening. Old folks have NO desire to raise their own taxes, especially since most live on a fixed income.
I certainly won’t be voting for any school bond; I haven’t for years. The board’s method is to refuse to maintain what properties they have, so they can say that their buildings are falling down and they need new ones. This year, it also includes tearing down the school in one town and closing the school in a country community. They then plan to bus them to the new building that they hope to build in the town. I’ve watched the board keep throwing money at education for half a century, and they turn out dumber students every year. Maybe more folks WILL stay and vote for the levies; then again, maybe they’ll just vote for president and go home.
Interestingly enough, I have yet to hear of any voting irregularities in the early voting in West Virginia. Ironically, some states that often look askance at West Virginia have had all kinds of problems with their voting machines changing republican votes to democrat. These are “interesting” times. © 2016