Progressives are trying to unseat conservative Democrat Blanche Lincoln in the primary runoff in Arkansas (Lincoln was one of the major obstacles standing in the way of better health care reform). And indeed, a recent survey shows Bill Halter ahead of Lincoln 49 to 45%. But now all that is in doubt. Why?
Garland County, which was the most populous county where Bill Halter won 3 weeks ago in the primary, has announced that instead of having their normal 42 polling places, will have only 2 open. In the primary, Halter got heavy support from rural voters, but now those voters will have to travel miles — some even across a mountain range — into a city in order to vote in the runoff on Tuesday. Many of them work and won’t be able to get enough time off to go vote.
Just to make matters worse the county announced that it would allow early voting on Saturday (yesterday), and this was reported by local newspapers and other media, so people who couldn’t get time off on a work day would still have a chance to vote. But when voters showed up at the county office to vote, there was a sign on the door saying that there would be no early voting that day after all — after it had already been publicized. So some people already made a wasted trip in order to try to vote. How many of them will make additional effort, just to vote in a runoff primary election?
I’m willing to bet not many. Such is the way elections are decided in America.
UPDATE: It worked. Blanche Lincoln won the runoff.