Our leaders say they care about voter turnout, but they haven’t done anything substantial about it. In order to encourage citizen engagement and restore public trust in the political process I propose the following changes:
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/election…
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.
Other ideas such as campaign finance reform, not allowing carryover of campaign funds, “none of the above” options on ballots, are also worth discussing in the legislative process. Please weigh in!