By Tom Brennan |
The mail-in balloting system for Anchorage’s municipal election was supposed to do good things for the body politic, but so far it seems more like hemorrhoids.
There are still two days to get ballots into the mail — and a get-out-the vote campaign is going full steam ahead — but the results from the first couple of weeks of voting have been underwhelming. That turnout is roughly half what it would be in a normal ballot-box election. Yet increasing turnout is supposedly the major reason for the change.
And it seems to me that the get-out-the-vote campaign is questionable. Election officials are making available information on who has voted, taking their names from ballot envelopes, so campaigners can target those who have not yet sent in their ballots. Getting out the voters is legitimate but providing information about who has voted already should not be allowed. That is an invasion of privacy, which is essential to a free election.