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Early voting? I'll pass, thank you

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Column by Jim Clark

By Jim Clark

Early voting for the primary started this week. It is now possible for you to go to certain sites and cast your ballot early.

I’ve never liked that idea, and I’ll still resist it and wait until election day to go to the polls.

There are a couple of reasons why I don’t like early voting:

1. When it comes to politics, I’m a skeptic. No one has ever shown me that all elections are on the up-and-up. And it seems to me that fraud would be a lot easier when the election is spread out over 15 days. I’m not accusing the candidates, mind you. But I am suspicious of the special interests that want to control everything in our lives. I feel they will stop at nothing to gain the upper hand, and that includes rigging elections. Incidentally, when I mention this, I’m not necessarily picking on our election people. Early voting has “caught on” all over the country.

2. The second reason is more practical. A lot can happen in those 15 days between the start of early voting and the actually election day.

Suppose the candidate you voted for suddenly does something stupid, or makes some dumb statement, one that alienates everybody. Or suppose your favorite candidate is accused of cheating, or a crime not related to the election. Guess what! You can’t go back and change your vote.

I personally want to take everything into account before I make up my mind. At the moment, I’m undecided in a lot of primaries, and I probably won’t make up my mind until after I hear everything the candidates have to say right up to the election on Aug. 24, or at least until the last day of early voting on the 21st.

So that’s why I think early voting is a bad idea for the most part. I can see it for people who will be gone on Aug. 24. It’s a good way to get your vote in. But we always had that ability via absentee ballots.

So even with that in mind, here’s the information on early voting, for those who so desire:

This is a list of polling places and hours. Early voting ends Aug. 21.

Supervisor of Elections office, 981 N.E. 16th St., Monday through Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Reddick Community Center, 4345 N.W. 152nd St., Monday through Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Belleview Public Library, 13145 S.E. Highway 484, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Dunnellon Public Library, 20351 Robinson Road, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Forest Public Library, 905 S. County Road 314A, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Freedom Public Library, 5870 S.W. 95th St., Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

You must bring a signature and photo ID with you to vote.