February 5, 2009

"The People" Should Demand that California's Next Statewide Election be All Mail

THE WORD is that California will have a special election in May or possibly June. Nobody evidently knows exactly when the "budget fix" election will be held and nobody knows what will be on the ballot - but there will be an election and a ballot.

No matter what actually ends up on the ballot, the election will carry a healthy price tag for county governments. And that comes exactly at a time when they can least afford it. And while the state has said they will repay counties for the costs of the special election, Registrars of Voters are not holding their collective breath. Who knows when "the check will be in the mail?"

In the meantime, the general funds of local government will pick up the tab.

To reduce the financial burden on the counties and/or the state, California could take a bold step forward and conduct the special election all by mail. Or lawmakers could allow counties that want to conduct the election by mail the legal authority to do so. This would not only save a huge sum of money in California but would possibly increase voter turnout. And around half the voters already vote by mail in regular elections.

Voting by mail is a safe option and doesn't affect the integrity of the election nor does it violate any security requirements.

Think about it - a statewide election conducted all by mail. Oregon has done it successfully for years. Why can't California give it a try?

If you agree, please send an email to your Assembly Member and State Senator urging them to include this provision into the legislation that calls the special election.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As long as you don't mind the potential for vote selling, or bullies (perhaps friends, wives, or lovers) marking ballots for third parties, then, yeah, "Voting by mail is a safe option and doesn't affect the integrity of the election".

I have no doubt, however, that bullies already decide our elections in close races.

This is hard enough to prevent in supervised polling place elections, and impossible with vote by mail.