Standard Ballot: Would a federal ballot improve elections? 2012.11.07

Written by David Green.

It’s election day as these words are being written. It’s the end of a long and torturous campaign season where the electorate is so tired of heaps of campaign mailings, annoying robo-calls and endless advertising. Nearly a billion dollars was said to have been spent on television advertising alone, thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court decision and the “corporations are people” thinking.

It’s also the time when people start thinking about changes in the electoral process—changes that always seem insurmountable. Isn’t there a way to stop the robo-calls? Could election day be moved to the weekend? Let’s do away with the electoral college.

A suggestion heard this year is a call for a federal ballot separate from ballots with local issues. Along with the special ballot would come uniform rules.

No longer would the presidential race be subject to Florida’s infamous butterfly ballot. No longer would Ohio be able to change early voting regulations as election day draws near. Let states use any shenanigans they can get away with for state and local issues, but keep the federal election process clean.

Campaigns have learned that small changes in the registration and voting process can lead to important changes in the outcome of elections, but it’s embarrassing for the world’s democratic leader to throw up roadblocks to voting.

  • Front.splash
    Water Fun—Carter Seitz and Colson Walter take a fast trip along a plastic sliding strip while water from a sprinkler provides the lubrication. The boys took a break from tie-dyeing last week at Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program to cool off in the water.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

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