Wednesday, March 10, 2004

What have you done for me lately?

Below is an email exchange from a listserv for YD leadership. The link to the article in question is below - it's a topic I've blogged before - moving the damn primary back to a sensible date here in CA. You have to read from bottom up to get the chronological flow right - but it's an interesting snapshot into the policy discussions between youth leadership in the state. Adam and I agree more than we disagree - so this is one of the few times we part ways. He's a smart guy, though, so remember his name . . .


Dear Adam,

At the risk of clogging the list serv, I feel compelled to respond to your message to Secretary Shelley, though I will not copy him on the message.

I agree that the timing of the primaries may make things a bit more confusing for college students, however, I think that we are forgiving students too many sins if we allow a June primary as a reason for student irresponsibility. There are many, many students in California. And they do then to vote Democratic (a point, however, that by law and by ethics should not weigh into the decision of the Secretary of State). But they a) don't vote enough and b) are not reason alone to continue with a faulty system that wrecks down ballot races.

Democracy is difficult - in fact - it's a huge pain in the ass. From the student taking finals to the mom juggling 2 jobs and 3 children's extracurricular activities, there are a thousand ways that various election day dates inconvenience some section of the population. But there are options. Absentee voting, for one, would allow a student a large amount of control over where and when to cast a vote.

If a student is smart enough to get into Berkeley or UCLA or CSUN or wherever, then he or she is smart enough to juggle civic duty with homework and finals.

This argument, while reasonable, makes us (students) seem selfish and unable to factor in the greater needs of the state. Ask not what your Secretary of State can do for your, but what you can do for your Secretary of State - then let's get our butts in gear, register voters, and make them fill out absentee ballot requests.

A June primary date does not disenfranchise California students, it enfranchises Californians.

Respectfully yours,
-cd


>Date: Tue, 9 Mar 2004 22:29:03 -0800 (PST)
>
>Dear Secretary Shelley,
>
> Thanks for the e-mail. I certainly respect your decision to move the primary back to June, but let me offer perhaps the student perspective. June is summertime for semester schools which means students have just moved, are moving, are off somewhere doing internships, or, in the case of quarter schools, are in the middle of finals. June is simply a bad time for students and, as we know, students vote Democrat--usually. In any case, the most important thing to remember is voter disenfranchisement and if voters feel disenfranchised at a young age then they will likely have a negative association with voting and thus will not vote or vote less frequently in the future.
> I am sure there is an argument in favor of this change in primary dates, but as a student I can tell you that this directly hurts us in many ways, alienating us from the political process. Thanks for asking for my opinion.
>
>Sincerely,
>
>Adam Borelli
>U.C. Berkeley student
>
>National Committeeman, California Young Democrats
>Member, Ventura County Democratic Central Committee
>
>"California Secretary of State, Kevin Shelley" wrote:
>
>March 9, 2004
>
>Dear Friend:
>
>Attached for your information is a recent column from the Los Angeles Times concerning efforts to move back the date of the California primary from March to June. As always, your comments on this or any other matter of interest are appreciated.
>
>Best wishes.
>
>Kevin
>
>**********
>
>GEORGE SKELTON / CAPITOL JOURNAL
>
>If Politicians Admit a Mistake, It's Time to Listen
>
>George Skelton
>
>March 8, 2004
>
>
If Politicians Admit a Mistake, It's Time to Listen

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