As Halloween and the general election approach, it is appropriate that I recognize both holidays by taking steps to see that the dead will be voting again this year.
Voting the graveyard is an old and colorful custom. Some politicians are so respectful of their elders that they keep casting votes for them long after they have left this troubled ball of bile.
Sadly, voting the dead is a fading tradition. Modern election procedures have made it difficult for dishonest politicians to borrow the names of actual, though quite dead, people and cast those votes for them.
Yes, people who try to vote the dead should be punished, though it would be more appropriate that they be punished with the death penalty rather than prison. If they want to masquerade as the dead, then let them go all the way.
However, I am among the first to assert that the votes of some of the dead should be counted on election day. Indeed, my vote will be included in the results even if I have expired several days before the formal election occurs. I speak of absentee voting.
I voted absentee this past week, well before the final, official day of casting a ballot. If I should have the bad fortune to croak before this election, my choices will be honored anyway right along with the votes of the living.
Disqualifying me for a little thing like dying a few days early would be unfair. It is appropriate therefore that I be remembered, not with flowers or tears, but by allowing me my final share of deciding where America is going after I have abandoned ship.
If you vote absentee and are away from home on election day because you have gone to Acapulco or Rome, why shouldn’t it also be possible to vote absentee and go to heaven or to hell?
Where is the harm as long as the courtesy of allowing dead votes is extended to the Republican dead along with the Democratic dead? (Granted, it is a little easier to tell when chronically hyper Democrats are dead than it is to tell whether a stuffy Republican is embalmed or merely napping.)
However it is ironic that we have to go out of our way to register to vote when no such affirmation is required for taxation. Why isn’t voter registration as automatic as taxation?
Every purchase in most states is accompanied by a sales tax that is automatically charged, like it or not. Similarly, property taxes are billed to citizens every year without fail. The owners don’t have to register for it.
And every eligible payer of state and federal income taxes is required to cough up what he owes whether he wanted to take part in that process or not. It isn’t optional. It is only registering to vote that is optional. You are unavoidably on the tax rolls but not on the voting rolls. What kind of hare-brained deal is that?
At the very least, the voting opportunity should be provided for you at each election without your asking – just like tax bills.
We don’t leave it up to you to decide whether you get the sharp end of the stick of supporting this republic with your taxes – your dues as a member. Why do we leave it up to you to decide whether to do something so self-destructive as not voting?
Meanwhile, Halloween is a more pleasant occasion than an election because the children are just playing dead when they knock on your door.
However, nothing is certain but death, taxes and answering the door to find another politician on the doorstep trying to trick you into the sweet treat of your delicious vote.Contact columnist Bill Hall at email@example.com or 1012 Prospect Ave., Lewiston, ID 83501.