State wisely allows voters more time

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 2, 2005

Thanks to a statewide push to relax the laws, voters will not have to hear the &#8220Jeopardy” theme song playing in their heads when they step into the polls Nov. 8.

Voters will be given the opportunity to focus on the ballot and not their watches now that Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell has told election officials to give voters all the time they need to make their decisions.

Typically, Ohio elections law sets a 5-minute limit for voters to complete ballots when polling places are busy and people are waiting in line. Because of the length of many ballots, which includes five proposed state constitutional amendments and many local issues, voters will be given all the time they need.

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We applaud this move because we urge all voters to carefully consider each issue and make sure they know exactly for what they are voting. Regardless of the issue, making the choice intended is far more valuable than making a quick decision.

Locally, Ironton voters will have three fees or taxes to consider in addition to the political offices and state issues. Last year, many voters said they left the polls confused by the floodwall levy, a proposed salary cut for the city's mayor and the state's gay marriage ban.

We hope every voter is able to follow their hearts this year.

Voter turnout is typically lighter than during a presidential election year so even with the increased ballot, residents should not have to wait too long.

A key step to reducing the wait is to arm one's self with knowledge before going to punch the ballot. Many newspapers, ours included, have repeatedly published exact representations of the ballot language for the five constitutional amendments.

We urge everyone to look over this information long before anyone goes to make their decision.

If a voter gets stuck waiting a few minutes, just remember, their friends and neighbors ahead of them are making decisions that could have ramifications for years to come.

It is better to be correct than fast.