Voting by mail a bad idea (and so is the measure in question)

I received my ballot in the mail for the ongoing City of Albuquerque vote over whether to modify the current election process for mayoral and councilor positions to require 50% rather than the current 40% to win.

First, a word about the process. It is a bad one and easily open to fraud. I received my ballot last week and sent it in within a few days. My wife has not received hers yet. Nonetheless, if I got a chance to open the mail first, there’s nothing stopping me from voting on her behalf. What about wrong addresses? This is a low-profile election. A lot of people don’t know anything about the issues at stake or even that an election is being held. The process is wide open to problems and that alone makes it something that should be reconsidered.

Separately, I have to admit that I laughed at the fact that voters have to pay $.46 for a stamp to return their ballots. For a crowd that claims that requiring an ID to vote amounts to a “poll tax,” I haven’t heard a peep from liberals about the regressive “poll tax” this election. Perhaps that’s because this measure is backed by liberals and labor unions who want to make it harder for conservatives to get into office?

Oh, and then there is the issue itself. Should we raise the thresh hold for election from 40% to 50%? Sounds trivial except that it will cost taxpayers between $500,000 and $750,000 for each election.

As they say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Our system of electing mayors and city counselors is reasonable and effective. While Mayor Berry was elected by only 44 percent of the vote, the most recent polls I’ve seen show that 68% of voters approve of the job he’s doing. Even if you are among the 15 percent who strongly disapprove of Berry’s efforts, the proper solution is to support somebody in the next election, not to make expensive changes to the voting process.