Monday, October 4, 2010

More on Voting in MA

Well, it turns out the situation isn't quite as dire as I thought. It seems that while there is no voter information sent out by the state before either special elections or primary elections (my two local voting experiences so far), they do sent out information before the general election. Of course I still find it highly problematic that voters are given no information in the former two cases.

This voter guide is much less comprehensive than the one in CA -- it focuses exclusively on ballot measures (it does not list candidates who will be on the ballot, even for state-wide offices) -- but it does at least inform voters of the date of the upcoming election, how to get an absentee ballot, and where to get information on where to vote. Neither the voter guide nor any other publication sent to voters (there isn't any that I've seen so far), actually tells voters directly where their polling station is located rather than requiring them to ask. But this is a start.

So, overall I am less appalled than previously, but not satisfied. I want to see MA address its citizens before all elections. Not to do so is unconscionable -- low voter turnout is a major problem with our democracy, particularly in primary and special elections. The state government should at a minimum take responsibility for making sure citizens are informed that an election is upcoming (on such-and-so date) and how to get further information. And I really also want to see direct mail to voters telling them where their polling place is located. Is that so much to ask?


elf's DH said...

Before every general election so far (I don't think I've gotten it for perimaries), I've gotten a postcard with ward number and polling place.

Sunkist Miss said...

Interesting. That is definitely encouraging. If that happens this election season (my first general election in MA), I will certainly update the blog accordingly.

But I still think the primaries / special elections being excluded from such announcements is problematic.