By now, the reality and hangover of last Tuesday’s election has subsided. Despite Democratic party efforts to motivate independent voters, it just didn’t happen. Republicans swept the Senate, and in Michigan, we’re stuck with four more years of the Nerd. Snyder’s already announced he’s raising taxes, as if we didn’t know that would happen before the election.
The news in most states is similar to that of Michigan; more Republicans won than Democratic Party candidates, despite the Republican party being embroiled from within with a civil war between tea party and establishment factions. Pretty sad when the Democratic party can’t win against a party at war with itself. While we look for a silver lining (there are none) and ahead to 2016 (the GOP’s control of the Senate will be very short), the Democratic party needs to stop and take a look at the national map. One state did great with voter turnout, and in every major election, Democratic candidates won.
Oregon elections are run differently than any other state. On Tuesday, they had 69% voter turnout, and they’re enjoying a Democratic Governor and Senator. In fact, Democratic candidates won big in Oregon on election night. How did they manage to do what the Democratic party couldn’t do anywhere else?
Oregon’s election is accomplished with 100% mail-in ballots. This means everyone in Oregon votes absentee. There are no polling stations, no long lines, no waiting. Every registered voter in the state receives a ballot in the mail in mid-October, and must be returned by eight ‘o clock the evening of the election. Just like how absentee ballots work in Michigan.
Oregon elected a Democratic Governor, Senator, and out of their five US House seats, four are Democratic Party.
Why can’t Michigan do that? Why can’t the nation do that? This would nullify most of the states using voter suppression tactics to keep people from voting. Have to work on election day? No problem! You don’t have to take off time from work or stand in line for hours after work to vote. Just fill out your ballot and drop it in the mail. This would solve problems for the disabled, the elderly, and everyone else who are disenfranchised because they can’t make it to the polls. It also means all of the registered voters who stayed home on election day have no excuse.
Election-by-mail would make it much easier for more people to participate in elections. Michigan needs to do this. I can’t think of a better ballot initiative for the state to pursue than make us an election-by-mail state. What do you think?