Thursday, June 17, 2010

An Idea Whose Time Has Come

It’s time for Proxy Voting in the Democratic Party!

Courtesy of the Los Angeles Times

What’s a “Proxy Vote” you might ask? It’s a Power of Attorney (POA) for the Democratic Party to use in Primary Elections. When an individual registers to vote as a Democrat, he or she simply signs a durable power of attorney that gives the Democratic Party the right to vote for that person if the individual does not cast a vote by a certain time on Primary Election Day.

Since turnout is generally low in primary elections, this gives the Democratic Party great power in deciding the outcome of the election. If, for example, you don’t vote by an hour before the polls close, the Proxy Vote POA allows the Democratic Party to cast a ballot on your behalf. It becomes a virtual certainty that the Democratic Party achieves the results it desires on Primary Election Day.

Why is this “An Idea Whose Time Has Come”?

It’s because the Democratic Party has been in the news lately, trying to modify the results of primary elections. Democratic Party voters don’t always choose the “correct” person to represent them, and this causes distress for Democratic Party officials, particularly in the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC).

The Democratic Party has had to put together various legal, financial and political maneuvers to attempt to get election results changed to match what the Party expects. As has been noted in news reports (by the absence of any outrage), registered Democrats apparently see no problem with this activity.

Here in Colorado, Andrew Romanoff decided to compete with Michael Bennet to be the Democratic Party nominee for Senator. The Democratic Party is backing Mr. Bennet, and it (allegedly) made overtures to Mr. Romanoff in the form of political appointments within the Obama administration to (allegedly) entice Mr. Romanoff to drop his bid to be a Senator for Colorado. Our Colorado primary is not until August, so this drama is still unfolding.

A similar situation occurred in Pennsylvania, where Arlen Specter competed against Joe Sestak in the Democratic primary for Senator. When Mr. Sestak won the primary, he was encouraged by the Democratic Party to drop out in favor of Mr. Specter. Again, the expectation of the Democratic Party was (allegedly) that Mr. Sestak could be influenced with an offer of a political appointment.

Now the news is about the case of Alvin Greene. Mr. Greene won the primary election in South Carolina to be the Senate nominee of the Democratic Party. Mr. Greene is now being challenged by various factions of the Democratic Party to see if he can be intimidated into giving up the nomination in favor of his opponent, Mr. Vic Rawl.

Just think about it: All of this messiness could be avoided if the Democratic Party employs the Proxy Vote in its primary elections.

What could possibly go wrong?

Felicia Sonmez reports in the Washington Post that the executive committee of the South Carolina Democratic Party has voted to accept the primary results and retain Alvin Greene as its nominee for the South Carolina senate race.

Mr. Greene's problems are not over, but he can celebrate a minor victory.

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