Getting to the polls — harder than you think

Check out the graph below, courtesy of Ezra Klein’s Wonkblog, from the Washington Post. It’s a breakdown of reasons registered voters gave for not voting in the 2008 election. This graph represents about 15 million people:

So out of 15 million people, 5.3 percent — nearly 800,000 — didn’t vote because of transportation problems. That’s a lot of people!

I’m willing to bet that some of those other reasons on the list, like “too busy,” also have a lot to do with transportation. Imagine if you’ve got a job to get to in New York City by 9 a.m., and you live in Westport. You work from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. That means you’ve got to be on the train before 8 a.m. — and by the time you’re back, the polls are closed.

And let’s not even talk about everyone who has to drive I-95 or the Merritt every day to get to work. I wonder if bad traffic affects turnout.

This is why they should let people vote by email. But of course, I’m sure many people who don’t vote due to transportation issues also don’t have internet access.

How are you getting to the polls on Election Day? Is a long commute discouraging you from voting?