Monday, November 02, 2009

Two More Strong Election-Oriented Editorial Pieces From the Standard-Examiner

The SE advances a plan to get out the vote; and a regular SE guest contributor delivers a helpful civics lesson

There are two strong editorial pieces in this morning's Standard-Examiner, each of them propounding the laudable theme of "getting out the vote" for tomorrow's Emerald City Municipal Election.

First, the SE editors bemoan the low turnout in last September's northern Utah municipal primary elections, singling out the city of Layton, which generated a turnout "well below 10%." Ogden City voters did even worse, of course, with turnout of only a measly 9%:
OUR VIEW: Urge others to vote
Yes, fellow lumpencitizens, we can and should do much better than that.

So the Standard has come up with a great idea, we think, an old-fashioned election day phone tree.

Not a bad idea indeed. Yes, gentle readers; we do recommend that you take a little time out of your busy election day tomorrow, to contact your friends and neighbors. And we don't care who these folks vote for, so long as it's Bart Blair, Jesse Garcia, Doug Stephens and Susan Van Hooser.

This morning's SE also features another most excellent "Top of Utah Voices" guest commentary from the ever-savvy Allison Barlow-Hess:
Vote, but don't forget your identification
Ms. Barlow-Hess has whipped together a fine civics lesson on the importance of participating in the local election process, and for good measure puts the focus on the ethic of regarding the voting franchise as a civic duty rather than a right. But Ogden voters must not skip over this important nuts-and-bolts admonition, offered by Ms. Barlow-Hess:
... "don't forget your identification!"

With our 2007 general election still fresh in our minds, Ogden voters are all still stinging from the memory of the Matthew Godfrey campaign's November 4, 2007 election day dirty tricks, whereby (among other things,) Boss Godfrey operatives submitted blanket voter challenge lists and engaged in other voter suppression efforts which resulted in the issuance of an astounding 700 provisional ballots. Who among our gentle readers can forget the travails of Dorothy Littrell on election day 2007, who was required to make three separate trips to her polling place to finally obtain the issuance of her provisional ballot? We're sure there were others in similar predicaments, of course, who didn't receive publicity; and nobody can be sure either whether Ms. Littrell's vote ever got counted, or how many challenged voters simply walked away from their neighborhood polling-places without voting at all.

In the end, and after a lengthy investigation, the Utah ACLU issued this press release and this blistering 17-page report, with findings that the misconduct of Godfrey's operatives had indeed "marred the 2007 municipal election." Of course by that time the damage had been irreparably done, and there were in truth no available post-election remedies.

Let's play it smart this go-round, Emerald City lumpencitizens. When you show up at the polls tomorrow, (torches and pitchforks in hand,) be sure to be "packing" two forms of ID... at least one with your picture on it.

A word to the wise ought to be sufficient.

Who will be the first to comment?

9 comments:

Danny said...

I didn't read the SE columns - usually don't - but I don't know if I agree with the idea of encouraging people to vote in general.

What is better, is to become informed, then encourage people to vote according to your information.

It does no particular good to have a bunch of people show up at the polls to scratch their chin in wonderment, then vote for the candidate who's name sounds nice or who had the last campaign sign they saw on their way to the polls.

Free government is conducted by those who show up.

Become informed, then vote. If you don't have time for the former, don't do the latter.

(My recommendation is to vote VanHooser, Blair, Garcia, and Stephens.)

Danny said...

Note: When I suggest becoming informed before voting, I don't mean you have to be ready to write a PhD thesis on it.

Just have at least some idea of the candidates and what they stand for. Compare that to your own standards and values.

That's all I was referring to.

Registered Voter said...

If anyone questions you about your legal voting status take names and call the ACLU before you leave the voting area. If voting observers are there with candidates names visable take names.

Take phone number of the LT. Governors and ACLU with you. Report any suspicious folks or signs to the election judges

Make this election valid with no dirty tricks.

Colonel Jessup said...

I will be out to make sure that Godfrey doesn't screw this one up.
All though he has been known to put pressure on some of those that are to over see the election, and have them to do things that are not in the best in interest of the election.

Stephen M. Cook said...

Danny:
This point is debated at poli-sci roundtables year in and year out: Informed electorate v. everyone should exercise the franchise.

To be informed, on every issue and candidate of which a person might be called upon to vote, takes many weeks of 24 hour days, per year.
And really, other than a few poli-sci cranks, who has the time?

When a populist candidate gets elected, as in the Jacksonian revolution, the voters were uninformed and voted. When a personally unpopular person attains office, as in James Polk, or James Adams the voters were informed.

I am of the mind that civics should be taught at an early age, that parents should set an example by voting early and often, and then: adults will exercise the right, if they so desire.
So, encourage everyone to come out, and don't be too shocked, or disappointed if they do not.

Sometimes, one wishes uninformed voters had stayed at home ie. those who elected A. Hitler. Othertimes, stay at home votors are the best voters there are, ie. those who did not vote for George HW Bush in 1992.

Vote Chthulu 2012.

Danny said...

Stevie C.

I always try to be informed, but when I am not, I tend to skip those races.

On the other hand, sometimes my informed vote is not to vote for anybody. That's been a frequent occurrence lately - last time was Obama vs. McCain.

I'd really like to see a block on each ballot for "none of the above" or "somebody else please."

But I really hope there is a good turnout in this election.

VanHooser, Blair, and Garcia are very good options that all can feel good about voting for.

As for Stephens, he is a little bit more good than bad, and he does listen. I don't think Dean will listen, and the fact that G-Train Wilkerson has signs out for Dean is very disconcerting.

VanHooser, Blair, and Garcia are good choices though.

Curmudgeon said...

I'm of two minds about Get Out The Vote [GOTV] campaigns.

I am strongly in favor of the ones aimed at people who are going to vote as I am. Those who run them should be applauded as true Americans and important contributors to the American way of life.

I am utterly opposed to ones aimed at people who intend to vote differently than I will. Those who run them should be shunned as disloyal agitators who should stay home and watch daytime TV instead.

Old campaigner said...

I think we all like these "groups," like the Get Out To Vote bunch, as long as they advocate the same belief as our own. But when those beliefs run contrary to ours, we label them as agitators, misfits, and pack of whack-os, just as Curm did in only the way he can (he's strongly in favor of those who are going to vote as he is but utterly opposed to those who aren't).

Interesting that Curm doesn't see those groups for what they are: just another assemblage of political hacks trying to concince people to vote for the candidate of their choice.

Here again, as was the case of the real estate PACs, I'm quite surprised that many of you are so surprised that this sort of thing goes on in the election season.

It's just politics, has been and always will be. Nothing knew or over the top about these kinds of goings on, just political marketing for the candidate these people support.

You either buy into it or you don't.

Monotreme said...

Old campaigner:

You don't read this blog much, do you? You seem to just post the same thing again and again without really understanding the discussion that is going on here.

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