In response to Adam Cohen's "Make Voting Easy and Fair" (Aug. 4 Forum), let me state for the record that I have voted in three different states (New York, Oregon and Pennsylvania) over a period of the past 20 years and have never found it difficult or time-consuming to do so, with the average time I spent at the polls being 10 minutes. Where are these five-hour lines I keep hearing about? Honestly, I have never encountered one. In fact, politely stopping to answer college-age kids who keep asking me if I am registered has taken up far more of my time and patience than voting ever has.
Naturally then I was completely puzzled by Mr. Cohen's assertion that it is "apparent" that many aspects of the election system need to be reformed. (Apparent how?) Mr. Cohen never enlightens us where elections are failing the poor, or why he thinks that "plenty of powerful people prefer a system that makes it hard to vote" ... particularly for "blacks and Hispanics [who] wait longer than whites." Specifically, which sources or research is he citing here, and what exactly is making it more difficult for blacks or Hispanics to vote than for whites?
Empirically speaking, I personally have met plenty of white nonvoters, many of them lifetime nonvoters, and not one of them has refrained from voting because they found it difficult or time-consuming to do so. They refuse to vote mainly because they feel their vote doesn't count, with "laziness" being admitted by the remaining nonvoters as the top reason they fail to get to the polls.
As to why more Canadians are registered to vote than Americans, I can offer no insight here, but then again, neither does Mr. Cohen.