State Representative Gary Sherman wants to amend the constitution, to do away with spring elections.
Noting that voter turnout in November was 90%, but the spring election was only 19%, Sherman thinks its an embarrassment and undemocratic for only 19% of voters to select an office as important as Supreme Court Justice.
I don’t see that as too low at all. Maybe it’s too high, even.
The way I see it, if 81% percent of voters don’t care who gets elected to the Supreme Court and lack any information relevant to casting an informed vote, I don’t want them voting. Democracy would not be furthered by tripling the voter turnout, if the extra voters don’t care who wins, don’t know what the issues are, and are voting on nothing more than name recognition or a coin flip.
Of course, I’m an attorney and thus a member of the special interest group that tends to dominate judicial elections. So, I suppose I’m biased against holding judicial elections in fall, when the polls would be flooded with voters who may have very firm opinions as to who should be president or governor, but none when it comes to judges.
On the other hand, elections for state school superintendent and school boards are also held in spring, and those elections tend to be dominated by special interest groups, too. Or rather, one special interest group – the teachers union. Not being part of that special interest group, I’d love to see those elections moved to the fall.
So, maybe I’m just a hypocrite. Or maybe we attorneys should reach a back-room deal with the teachers to oppose any changes to our way of life.