We should make it easier for Delawareans to vote.
Same day registration, early voting, no excuse absentee voting, moving primaries to the same day as presidential primaries, and making it easier to get registered at the DMV are all great ideas that have already had champions (and still have champions) in the GA. This is a great time for Democrats to show their commitment to free and fair elections by making the process more friendly to Delaware voters.
I would add that we should revisit the prospect of putting redistricting in the hands of an Independent Commission (no sitting politicians able to pick their voters) and in merging school board elections to the regular General election date. And — I would add making a change to the Charter of the City of Wilmington to allow for special elections to replace elected City officials who leave mid-term. Right now, we have a process that is being manipulated for reasons that have very little to do with making sure a Council District is adequately represented. And while there’s been a request to the GA to make this change, the response back was that Special Elections cost too much.
Think about that for a second — Special Elections cost too much. Even though NCCo members would be replaced by a Special Election, apparently when it comes to Wilmington any effort to reduce our access to democratic institutions is too expensive. Elections are the cost of doing business for a government and Delaware should be ready to conduct Special Elections on the rare times they are needed. It is a sign of the extent of the manipulation going on in Wilmington that NO ONE is paying attention to the fact that we are the only major subdivision (I think) without an ability to call for a Special Election. And I can’t figure out why the State would not support this. And I can’t figure out why Wilmington is not on fire knowing that it is excluded from this process.
But I do think that all of Delaware’s subdivisions should have access to a real Special Election to replace legislators that are no longer in their positions and we should figure out the cost. We can’t be in the business of making it easier for voters to participate and then tell some voters that it is too expensive for them to vote.
Voting is important and removing the unnecessary barriers to voting is a crucial activity. Free and fair elections is how people maintain some level of confidence in their government. I’m hoping to be celebrating the signing of bills that open up voting but am also hoping that the State will make sure that Wilmington is fairly treated and gets the ability to call Special Elections.
There are over 800 Wawa’s in the State of Delaware…..open up the polls! Special Elections Vs. The money going to EDUCATION!! I think education. Waste more money!
Cassandra, can you give more background on the manipulation of the current system?
The Council needs to replace Nnamdi Chukwuocha in the 1st. Replacements do not happen via Special Election, but by Council selection. People ho are interested in the position send in resumes and a special committee appointed by the Council President reviews those resumes, and makes a nomination from those who applied. The nomination is then sent to City Council for a vote. Council followed this process and sent the name of Albert Mills (brother of Chukwuocha) to the entire council where he was voted down. He was voted down because there is a faction of council looking for “someone who will vote against the Mayor”. NOT someone who will work at representing that District for the next two years. This faction called a meeting at the PAL of one — just one — of the neighborhood associations in the 1st and at that meeting the less than 30 people in attendance voted for another candidate — one being pushed by this faction. They are using this meeting as rationale to change the nominee trying to sell folks on the idea that “the 1st has made its voice heard”. You can see part of this meeting here.
Council President Shabazz went on vacation at the end of December, and this faction decided that they would have Pre Tempore Councilman Congo call a Special Meeting so they could install their pick behind Council President’s back. That fell apart when one Council person withdrew a vote for their candidate.
In short, that’s it. And its a mess. Lots of voices not from the district trying to sell themselves as speaking for the 1st while they neglect their own districts.