Madison to Consider Clean Election Reform

In this update: 1. Madison to look at voter-owned election proposal 2. New "Hijacking Justice" feature of WDC web site launched 3. What boosts voter turnout and what doesn’t 4. Share a meal for the Democracy Campaign 5. Fixing Frankenstein Madison to Consider Clean Election Reform

Email date: 2/27/07

In this update:
1. Madison to look at voter-owned election proposal
2. New "Hijacking Justice" feature of WDC web site launched
3. What boosts voter turnout and what doesn’t
4. Share a meal for the Democracy Campaign
5. Fixing Frankenstein

The president of Madison’s city council, with the support of the mayor, will introduce a resolution at tonight’s council meeting calling for the city’s governing body to go on record in support of full public financing of local elections for mayor, city council and municipal judge. The resolution also creates a commission with representatives of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, Common Cause in Wisconsin and the League of Women Voters and two other members to work out the details of a city campaign reform ordinance.

For more information about the proposal and some initial reaction to it, go here and here.

If you live in Madison, contact city council members to urge them to support the resolution and let them know why you think voter-owned election reform is good for the community. If you are outside Madison, contact them to make them aware that other communities are watching and remind them of the positive example Madison officials could set for the rest of the state by enacting clean election reforms.

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A new feature of the Democracy Campaign’s web site is "Hijacking Justice," which will focus on the secret electioneering done by special interest groups to influence the outcome of the state Supreme Court race.

If you become aware of special interest broadcast ads, mailings or other electioneering between now and the general election in April, please help us monitor this activity by using our Hijack Hotline to let us know about it.

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For anyone interested in increasing voter turnout, two recent studies agree there is a proven strategy - election day registration.

Both reports - one done by electionline.org and the other by the national group Demos - document 10% to 12% higher turnout in states that have EDR (Idaho, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Wisconsin and Wyoming) compared to states that don’t allow eligible voters to register on the day of the election.

On the other hand, academic research done by scholars at Rutgers and Ohio State universities shows that making voters jump through additional hoops such as requiring them to show photo ID in order to cast a ballot is a sure way to suppress turnout, as reported by the New York Times.

States that imposed such identification requirements on voters reduced turnout at the polls in the 2004 presidential election by about 3%, and by two to three times as much for racial or ethnic minorities, the study concluded.

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If you live in the Madison area, you can help out the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign by dining out on Tuesday, March 13. Eat out at one of nine fine local restaurants, and tell them you’re there for us. The restaurant will donate a portion of their proceeds to Community Shares of Wisconsin and diner-designated Community Shares member organizations such as the Democracy Campaign in support of the 2nd Annual Share-A-Meal event sponsored by Community Shares.

Participating restaurants include:

Bunky’s Cafe - lunch, dinner
2827 Atwood Avenue
608-204-7004

Cafe Soleil - breakfast, lunch
25 North Pinckney Street
608-251-0500

The Dardanelles - lunch, dinner
1851 Monroe Street
608-256-8804

Harvest - dinner
21 North Pinckney Street
608-255-6075

Maharaja East - lunch, dinner
1707 Thierer Road
608-246-8525

Maharaja West - lunch, dinner
6713 Odana Road
608-833-1824

Roman Candle - lunch, dinner
1054 Williamson Street
608-258-2000

Tornado Steak House - dinner
116 South Hamilton Street
608-256-3570

Weary Traveler - lunch, dinner
1201 Williamson Street
608-442-6207

For more information, go here or call Community Shares at 608-256-1066.

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A lot has been said recently about how ghastly the governor’s so-called "Frankenstein veto" authority is. But few have noted how much of the monster would be left intact by the proposed state constitutional amendment that purports to fix Frankenstein. Our most recent Big Money Blog sheds some light on that part of the story.