We sent out this press release today. Any other good ideas on how to increase voter participation?
***KEVIN MCCREA ON INCREASING VOTER PARTICIPATION***
Citizen participation in our election process is at an all-time low. Massachusetts is ranked last in the United States in terms of contested elections, and Boston’s turnover rate for mayor and councilors is notoriously low. Voter turnout in elections, especially in City elections, is also at historic lows.
Kevin McCrea says “Our leaders say they care about voter turnout, but they don’t do anything about it.” “People are not happy with the candidates or with the process, and they are turning away, as evidenced by the lack of participation.” McCrea is putting forth the following proposals, “In order to encourage citizen engagement and restore public trust in the political process”:
1. Change the municipal election cycle so that we hold the Mayoral election in Presidential years. The next election should be in 2013 and then in 2016 and every four years thereafter. This will have the following benefits:
a. It will increase broad voter participation and reduce the influence of special interests. The last Mayoral election had less than 100,000 voters; the last Presidential election had more than 200,000.
b. It will save millions of dollars in election costs, according to the Boston Elections Department, by requiring elections only every two years.
2. Institute term limits for Mayor. The limit should be either two or three terms.
3. Institute same-day voter registration, and allow mail in ballots. (As California does: http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/elections_m.htm)
4. Lower the barrier for participation by reducing the number of signatures required to get on the ballot, and extending the time required to get signatures.
5. Give a specific amount of free air time on BNN for each candidate.
Mccrea finishes with “These are essential steps toward improving turnout in Boston. I will ask for citizens’ suggestions for other reforms as well, such as Campaign Finance Reform, and will entertain any other progressive idea to make Boston more open and democratic.”
Kevin McCrea’s full platform can be viewed at his website www.kevinmccrea.com. Kevin McCrea’s campaign director, Antionetta Kelly, can be reached either through e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at (617)267-2453.