Dynamist Blog

Long-Distance Voting

The Dallas Morning News reports on Dallas Iraqis who are turning out to vote in their country's historic election. To register and vote, they've had to make two trips from Dallas to Nashville, a 700-mile drive. An excerpt:

Mr. Sindy will leave tonight after work with 48 of his friends from Arlington's Kurdish community. They will pile into seven minivans — each carrying seven people — to drive for 12 hours.

When they reach Nashville early Saturday morning, they will vote at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds, the city's only polling place for the election. Then, they'll climb back into their minivans and head home to their families and jobs.

"It is a long drive, but you are with friends," Mr. Sindy said.

This is the second trip the voters will make to Tennessee in the last month. Registration for the vote also took place in Nashville.

The money and time required to travel to Nashville has kept many Dallas-area Iraqis from voting, and registration at polling places across the nation has been lower than expected. Only 3,930 registered in Nashville, down from the 16,000 officials had hoped to see.

Some local Iraqis said they could not get time off from their jobs or miss school. Others said they couldn't leave their families or afford airplane tickets.

Temer Tovi is heartbroken that he cannot participate in the historic day of Iraqi freedom, he said.

"I've got a business, and I have no time to travel for two days," said the owner of Mediterranean Cafe & Bakery in Richardson. "They should bring one to Texas. Anywhere in Texas, we would go."

Just another reason to repeal the Wright Amendment and allow Southwest to fly to Nashville from Love Field.

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