Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Holy Primaries, Batman!

I know, I know. I should be over the vagaries of the MA electoral system by now. I mean, what do I have to be nostalgic about anyways? The death-by-ballot-initiative that characterizes my native CA political environment isn’t exactly enviable. But there are a few things CA does right, that we could learn from. Namely:

(1) Today I voted in the Presidential Primary. (MA participates in Super Tuesday). In September, I will vote again in the State Primary (including the much-watched Senate race). Both of these primaries will lead to the same general election.
Sunkist Miss’s Rule 1 of Electoral Politics: Limit the number of times you expect people to turn out to vote -- have a single primary election. The more elections, and the fewer items per ballot, the less interest people will have in voting. Duh.

(2) I should not have to do extensive searching online to find out what will be on my ballot. It should be easy to find out. Actually, take a play from the CA play book, and tell me before I ask! The Sec. of State and LA County Registrar of Voters were always good about that. The county sends you your sample ballot (with a form to request an absentee ballot on the back) before every election. The state sends a voter guide with more information including official statements from candidates and ballot measure campaigns (and official analysis of the legal impact of the ballot measures). I love you, CA.
Rule 2: Educate voters about what will be on the ballot, or at least provide them with the tools to find out. Before they arrive at the polls.

PS. Our representative in the MA Legislature is also on the City Council. Say what?!