Run The Runoffs

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Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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  1. Avatar Mike Dwyer
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    says:

    I’m going to take umbridge with the excerpt for this post:

    “It’s not often, but sometimes the South is right and the rest of the country is wrong.”

    We’re right about a whole bunch of things… And regarding a lot of the things that they say we’re wrong about, it seems like the rest of the country has the same problems, they are just better at hiding it. Report

  2. Avatar Saul Degraw
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    says:

    I’d be for some kind of IRV offer or do what the French do and have the run-off be election be a week or two after the initial election, not separated by months.

    The more pressing electoral reforms I want to see are making election day a weekend instead of a Tuesday or have something that makes voting easier for the poor and/or people without much time. We do let states set their election processes a bit too much.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Saul Degraw
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      says:

      I meant to mention it in the OP, but two months is way too much lag time. I think the French election is too truncated, though. The sweetspot to me is 3-4 weeks.Report

    • Avatar notme in reply to Saul Degraw
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      says:

      How hard is voting now, you show up and vote? How much easier can we make it? Maybe a gov’t ride to the polling place and a gov’t minder to help you fill out your ballot?Report

      • Avatar pillsy in reply to notme
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        says:

        Republicans will use any argument, no matter how transparent the bad faith, to support racist campaigns of voter suppression.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to notme
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        says:

        Do you have the tiniest bit of empathy for any argument or do you just dismiss anything and everything out of hand? If you are a lawyer, a particularly harsh prosecutor is the only thing that fits your profile.

        Voting can be easy and it can be made hard. You can make people travel to a handful of locations and wait for hours or you can have multiple locations and have short wait times. Not everyone can get off work to wait for hours especially people in wage & hour jobs. Professional jobs provide more “I have to do X and will be running late/leaving early coverage.”

        You can keep voting in strict hours of 9 AM to 5 PM or expand to give some time to people after work.Report

        • Avatar notme in reply to Saul Degraw
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          says:

          Voting can be easy and it can be made hard. You can make people travel to a handful of locations and wait for hours or you can have multiple locations and have short wait times. Not everyone can get off work to wait for hours especially people in wage & hour jobs. Professional jobs provide more “I have to do X and will be running late/leaving early coverage.”

          All of which maybe true but is not necessary relevant. Every jurisdiction has only so many locations, machines and money etc. with which to conduct an election. Hopefully they use their they use their resources to enable the most people to vote.Report

      • Avatar Road Scholar in reply to notme
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        says:

        For me it’s a real PITA. I’m out on the road for 3-4 weeks at a time and only rarely home on that day. I’ve voted in person exactly once. And my state makes it a PITA to get absentee ballots as well thanks to Lt. Gov. Kris Kobach.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to notme
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        says:

        In Colorado, Oregon, and Washington, if you’re registered the ballot shows up in your mailbox about three weeks before election day. Arizona’s permanent mail ballot list yields about 75% of all votes cast, California’s about 65%. In the three that have implemented full vote-by-mail, “should we keep it?” polls about 75% yes, across the political spectrum of voters.

        And you know something? It only increases turnout slightly. Off-year turnout is still miserable. What does increase turnout? A nice, juicy ballot initiative drives turnout way up anywhere in the West where such are common.Report

      • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to notme
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        says:

        How hard is voting now, you show up and vote?

        Depends on the place, doesn’t it? Some places aren’t super busy and you can vote on your way to or from work without much of a disruption in your day. Others have crazy wait times and you’ll end up taking a chunk of your day off of work. Still others allow voting by mail, which is pretty damned easy.

        I’m an able-bodied professional with a lot of control over my schedule and I still vote by mail every single time. If every jurisdiction had that option, I’d have zero pity for bad voter turnout. But as it is, we’re not exactly making it easy in a lot of cases. The benefit an individual gets from voting is pretty infinitesimal, so making it even slightly harder is likely to have noticeable effects on turnout.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Saul Degraw
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      says:

      For election day, I favor a three-day approach. Election day is Tuesday, but also allow voting the Satuday and Sunday before.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Will Truman
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        says:

        I can get behind this.Report

      • Avatar notme in reply to Will Truman
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        says:

        Except that many jurisdictions allow for early voting already. You know, vote early, vote often and vote Dem.Report

        • Avatar pillsy in reply to notme
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          says:

          Conservatives often make farcically dishonest accusations of voter fraud in order to support policies to suppress the vote in a racist fashion.Report

          • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to pillsy
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            says:

            Voting on a Tuesday prevents fraud, whereas voting on a Sunday when God is busy watching all of the good people in church allows you to get away with all sorts of stuff on the sly.Report

            • Avatar notme in reply to Troublesome Frog
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              says:

              And maybe if we change the day your taxes are due to the day before election day people might better rememmber what they are paying for and they should expect from govt.Report

              • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to notme
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                says:

                You’re not going to get any pushback from me. I’d like to see people get monthly statements the same way they get them for utilities. Itemize the top 10 or 20 expenditures and how much of their cash went to each one. That would probably save a ton of confusion since people on both sides of the aisle believe absolutely ridiculous things about taxes and where their money goes.

                But that still doesn’t say anything about whether making people take off work on a weekday and plod down to a random public building to vote makes any sense.Report

              • Avatar El Muneco in reply to Troublesome Frog
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                says:

                It makes perfect sense if the goal is not “let the voice of We The People be heard” or even “to the polls ye sons of Freedom” but, as PJ said a while back “count those people as 3/5 of a person but don’t let them do 3/5 of the voting”.Report

          • Avatar El Muneco in reply to pillsy
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            says:

            That deep Kansas probe that 45’s hot new fraud investigator spent millions on?

            Found maybe a double handful of in-person fraud cases. And the majority of them voted R.

            Expect it to be touted in the panel’s recommendation of Vote Suppression Best Practices. With the actual cite buried deep deep in a footnote, along with the other misrepresentations.Report

  3. Avatar Kolohe
    Ignored
    says:

    Abolish special elections. Let state parties choose placeholder congresspersons until the next regularly scheduled election.

    The House of Representatives is supposed to be the part of the federal government most directly accountable to the people. (In the initial design, it was the *only* part of the fed gov that was)

    Putting appointees – by party machines no less – undermines the entire basic premise of the House of Reps.Report

    • Avatar pillsy in reply to Kolohe
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      says:

      The way districting works has already fatally undermined that premise, though.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to pillsy
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        says:

        Given enough antipathy towards the status quo, you can overcome a lot of gerrymandering – that’s how Tom Perriello won in central Virginia district that was in excess of R+5 iirc against literally a Goode ol boy.Report

        • Avatar pillsy in reply to Kolohe
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          says:

          You can overcome a lot of things, if you get my meaning.

          It’s also not just a matter of gerrymandering, though that surely doesn’t help.

          Doubling the number of Reps and having more multi-member districts seems like it would be a good step in the right direction. And I think it could be done entirely through legislation.Report

        • Avatar notme in reply to Kolohe
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          says:

          Goode couldn’t carry the people’s republic of Charlottesville and lost.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Kolohe
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      says:

      I think the republic will survive 97% rather than 100% of congresscritters being elected.

      (If it helps, I would bar the placeholder for running for the seat.)Report

  4. Avatar Kazzy
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    says:

    “From a democratic-process standpoint, the desire of the south to avoid allowing a minority segment of the population from choosing the winner is reasonable.”

    Good argument against the electoral college, no?Report

    • Avatar Trumwill in reply to Kazzy
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      says:

      Ha! I was actually deliberate in my wording there for precisely that reason (ie saying such a desire was “reasonable” than that it was “right”). I do think the president should be chosen by popular vote, though also see virtue in the anti-majoritarian senate. So I’ve a mixed record on that.Report

      • Avatar TrexPushups in reply to Trumwill
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        says:

        Without the impulse to count non-voting slaves for population that was blunted with the 3/5th’s compromise I don’t think the electoral college would have ended up happening.Report

        • Avatar Catchling in reply to TrexPushups
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          says:

          Probably not. But I doubt an at-large popular vote would have been agreed to either, given the founders’ fondness for state sovereignty (though that itself could be almost totally rooted in the same racism as the compromise).

          Possibly we would have gone parliamentarian, with the House (which of course was influenced by the slavery-based apportionment) electing the president (just as it does in the event that the Electoral College doesn’t supply a majority-winning candidate).Report

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