Mailing It In
The controversy over seating Democratic delegates awarded in the Florida and Michigan primaries has escalated to the point where it seems that pundits are throwing out ideas at random, only to have them be shot down a few moments later. I usually try to avoid these discussions because of the vacuum of common sense that usually emerges from them, but one idea recently caught my attention.
According to CNN, both Florida and Michigan have considered mail-in ballots as a method for tabulating votes if their respective primaries are to be redone. This method of vote tabulation already used in Oregon for all elections and as the primary mechanism for absentee voting in most other states has a number of benefits that are specifically tailored to the current democratic situation. An all-mail primary would cost considerably less than a traditional one, and as recognized by Democratic National Committee Chair Howard Dean, such an exercise would ease the balloting process for all:
"Every voter gets a ballot in the mail. It’s comprehensive. You get to
vote if you’re in Iraq or in a nursing home," he said on CBS’ "Face the
Additionally, a mail-in primary could lead to more attention for the process within Missouri. In February, state Representative Jake Zimmerman introduced House Bill 2088, which would establish an all-mail election system for all elections that take place within the state. Currently, the bill has not been referred to a committee, and as reported by Suburban Journals, there is little confidence of it being given serious consideration. However, as the resident intern in favor of election reform, I’m hoping that any attention given to mail-in balloting by Florida and Michigan leads Missouri lawmakers to reconsider it as an electoral method.