News, schools, and views from a uniquely Lowell perspective
20th May 2008

With so few voters, why not appoint everyone?

posted in In the News, Local Groups, Local Politics, State Concerns |

Today’s Boston Globe had an interesting column by Adrian Walker in support of Election Day Registration. I agree with Walker: “The real issue here isn’t lack of money, or fraud. It’s inertia. There just isn’t any sense of urgency about voting issues. The way people register and vote now has worked just fine for the people who already hold office. Why change it now?” In an earlier post, I discussed reasons why Massachusetts should join many other states, including neighbors New Hampshire and Maine, and allow people to register AND vote on election day. According to this New England Cable News interview between Chet Curtis and Avi Green, executive director of MassVOTE, a non-partisan voters rights organization; Massachusetts ranks 21st in voter turnout. (Green does a decent job of addressing opposing concerns during the interview.)

As our own recent local elections have shown, we in the Merrimack Valley are not strangers to voter apathy. What is strange, however, is the apparent silence from the Lowell Sun on this issue. Despite its regular lament on poor voter turnout, which is often accompanied by a suggestion for an appointed school committee as if that would induce more folks to vote (a pet peeve of mine), the local paper has not written one editorial on Election Day Registration. Meanwhile, the bill languishes while the clock is ticking to pass this legislation in time for the upcoming presidential election. I heard our own State Senator Steve Panagiatakos is working out a compromise to make it happen—thanks Steve! But from where I sit, S2514 should pass: We’re looking at voter increases of about 250,000 more young people, minorities, and perhaps even those who had given up on the system. The fact is, without voters, we don’t have a democracy, and this bill will help bring voters back. Then again, we could just go to appointed school committees (selectmen, councilors, whatever) and forget the whole election thing…

LiL has also written on this issue with 30 comments responding to this post.

Comments are closed.

  • Blogroll

  • Contact Us

  • Education Links

  • Local Groups

  • Local media