Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Neat idea: to increase election judges, release them from the jury pool

(I know this is a bit far afield of Illinois politics and government, but I thought Illinoize readers would enjoy it)

We've got a problem: not enough election workers (called election judges in Illinois). Our elections are run essentially by volunteers and we have a lot of elections (four in a two-year cycle). Many election judges are senior citizens and they have to put in a 13 or 14 hour day. It's a challenge every election cycle to generate more volunteer election judges.

In a debate last week before the Los Angeles City Council on a motion to study instant runoff voting and several other reforms put together by rising star Eric Garcetti, President of the Council, Member Janice Hahn expressed a really interesting idea. (You can watch the debate here -- jump to Item #28 on the agenda).

She noted that election judges (called pollwatchers in California) are fulfilling their civic duty and serving the Republic. She also noted that lots of people would prefer not to serve in juries (they are hard to plan and many people get booted out of the jury pool). Council Member Hahn suggested that a great way to increase the number of election judges would be to release election judges from the jury pool, as serving on election day is as much a civic duty as serving on a jury of a defendants' peers.

I think it's a great idea and we ought to implement it in Illinois.


Anonymous,  11:51 PM  

Another neat idea: Let people, other than only members of the Democratic and Republican parties, serve as Election Judges! There are 3 legally established, statewide political parties in Illinois; yet for some reason, state election law only allows 2 of them to appoint Election Judges. Doesn't anyone see anything wrong with this? It's undemocratic.

Big Virginia,  3:10 PM  

Did you do a post on the Al Sanchez indictment?

or the Resas guilty plea and conviction?

What does Senator Sandoval think?

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