Thursday, March 02, 2006

More on election reform

An editorial in the Seattle PI today is headlined, “King County Elections: Coming up short.” This headline should come as no surprise to anyone…except election officials.

It is interesting that while the public and the media understand that elections in this state are a mess, political figures have yet to grasp that.

Last month in a press conference,
Ron Sims said, “We don't need an overhaul. They (elections officials) have really pulled their act together.”

Was he kidding?! I am afraid not. And sadly this is the tenor for many of those who are supposed to be “reformers.” Sam Reed, we mean you.

Here’s another example, the Seattle Times today also ran an editorial titled, “
Restore faith in county elections.” The press gets it. They understand there is a problem.

These types of news stories and editorials have not stopped running since the 2004 election. Every week—and often every day—there is another article on this issue.

There is a tendency for conservatives to take opposition to the Washington state press corps. After all, this state is a blue, blue state dominated by the liberal metropolitan Puget Sound. The media here can be just as blue. But the media is not the opposition. They have done their job. They have reported every election nuance with utter scrutiny. Sometimes it is favorable, and sometimes not, but they have shown willingness to get to the bottom of the issue.

Many liberal blogs have offered sharp criticism of the
Evergreen Freedom Foundation’s proposed initiative to require all voters to update their registrations. Some of that has filtered into editorial boards across the state.

One major complaint is that this would cost too much to “re-register” all voters. I fret at the irony of this objection. Liberals are too eager to spend every drop of state revenue—and then some, except when it comes to elections. (Is a Beer Commission more worthy of tax dollars than a clean voter roll? I digress.)

It is truly time for real election reform to happen. The real opposition is elected officials who don’t want to confess their sins that the election system is not fixed. Why should they? Their political careers rest on this issue.

There are plenty of great ideas out there. EFF’s
Voter Integrity Project is at the forefront of most of them. I encourage you to read their proposals, they are worthy.

The media is one of the public’s greatest assets in this issue. There have been a lot of dumb statements (I reference Sims’ above quote), and the media has caught most of them.

The citizen is the greater asset, though. It is he who will ultimately decide the fate of our elections system, whether it be a vote on an initiative or a vote for a candidate. But it is the job of the citizen to pay attention to what the media is reporting. Our elections system is not fixed, and previous efforts for “reform” are bunk.

Cost should be a secondary evaluation to need. Coming from a true conservative, that should say a lot about the state of our elections.

We need real election reform now.

For solutions to our election woes, visit the links below:
::Balloting rolls will be wrong until every voter in state registers again
::Washington state’s new voter database is flawed
::New state voter database still has major problems

No comments: