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.

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