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.

  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.snake
    Lannis Smith of the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor shows off a python last week at Stair District Library's Summer Reading Program.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.rock Study
    ROCKHOUNDS—From the left, Joseph McCullough, Sean Pagett and Jonathan McCullough peer through hand lenses to study rocks. The project is part of Morenci Elementary School’s summer camp that continues into August.

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