Low voter turnout called civil…

Low voter turnout called civil rights problem

The dwindling number of people, especially minorities, who are willing to vote is as much a civil rights problem as a political concern, speakers at a San Francisco conference warned Tuesday

Why is it a civil rights issue? Because the grotesque amount of money raising involved shuts out those with little money.

“Community leaders say they can’t compete with money” when it comes to making their concerns known to officeholders, he said. “Politicians don’t have time to focus on the problems of the community because they’re too busy dialing for dollars.”

“Political consultants say if (as a candidate) you’re not spending 70 percent of your time raising money, you’re misallocating your resources,” said Miles Rappoport, a former Connecticut secretary of state who now runs Demos, a public policy and advocacy group. “That’s a horrifying figure.”

Other ways to increase voting include

Election-day voter registration, public financing of political campaigns, instant runoff voting, restoring voting rights to former prisoners and an election day holiday were some suggestions to improve voter turnout, which reached a record low last week for a California general election.

In related news, Bid launched to bring back open primary

Dismayed by low turnout and fearing increased partisanship among legislators, major business interests are planning an initiative campaign to create a new open primary system aimed at helping moderates win office

Voters, regardless of their party, would receive a single primary ballot and vote for the candidate of their choice. The two candidates with the most votes would face each other in the general election.

In my opinion, this is a terrible idea. It would lock Greens and other third party candidates out of the general election, and could easily, in a one-party state like California, result in two Democrats running against each other in the general. This is is a plan that would decrease, not increase voting.