The recent announcement by the Department of Homeland Security that it's
looking into delaying the November presidential election in the event of a terrorist
attack has caught a lot of people off guard. The news comes on the heels of a rather
favorable public reaction to John Kerry's selection of John Edwards as his running
It also follows a flurry of hauntingly familiar "credible but vague"
apocalyptic warnings from Gov. Tom Ridge and the gang -- the latest
that al-Qaida is planning a "large scale" attack to disrupt the campaign.
Nobody knows whether such an attack will occur, but we do know that
postponing the election is a topic under serious consideration by Bush
administration appointees on the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.
Rarely do I find myself in agreement with the current administration's policies and
practices, but in regard to rescheduling the presidential election, I say, "Bring it on!"
Instead of postponing the November vote, how about moving it up?
Let's say, next month. We could tally the votes at our leisure while
President George W. Bush takes his annual month long summer hiatus.
Or how's next Tuesday sound?
Holding the election
sooner rather than later may prove to be a great public service.
Americans could skip the exorbitantly priced self-congratulatory ruminations of
pontificating politicians during the upcoming political conventions and be spared
what has become predictably partisan theater.
Do we really need to endure almost another four months of mud-slinging in what
may turn out to be one of the ugliest campaigns to date? Why not take the hundreds
of millions of dollars that will be spent by both sides to woo a relatively small number
of undecided voters in a handful of swing states and divvy it out to those who
really need it?
The 44-million-plus Americans struggling without health insurance would surely
put the money to good use. Scores of seniors forced to choose between prescription
drugs and food would definitely benefit from any assistance. I suspect the growing
number of Americans trying to make ends meet would welcome any relief.
For the sake of humanity, let's relieve those Bostonians (don't they suffer enough with
their Red Sox?) and my fellow New Yorkers from the bedlam that will surely ensue
when the Democrats and Republicans commence their conventions. Who needs them?
Move the election up and you no longer have to worry about all those unwanted
camping out on the Great Lawn at Central Park. Give the police a
break from the heat. Besides, without all those Republicans around, you won't have to
wait a week to get a taxi.
And if the worst were to happen and terrorists targeted the election, don't they
ultimately triumph if we alter our democratic process and
arbitrarily pick and choose
which constitutional amendments we wish to adhere to?
And while the wounds of the 2000 "recount" still run deep, holding a fair and
legitimate presidential election in 2004 could be part of a cure necessary to heal a
divided nation. So why wait?
We live in uncertain times when we cannot count on much, but one thing is for sure:
Terrorists are not big on forewarnings. I guess that's part of what makes them
terrorists. And although it remains unclear which candidate will come out on top
come next November or whenever, I'm hoping it's not the terrorists who win.
My mom, a resident of a Florida retirement community, doesn't care when she votes,
she just wants the chance for her vote to "count this time." Although I have
my mother that she is neither at fault nor responsible for the outcome of the ill-fated
2000 election and the subsequent ills of the world, she's still a hard sell. But if she
could cast her ballot (no chads, please) next Tuesday, that would work out great and
she could get on with her life. And so could we.
Jill Rachel Jacobs is a writer and humorist living in New York City.
Jill Rachel Jacobs