Sunday, March 22, 2015

Spring Forward

Yesterday may have been the first day of Spring, but we've been in spring mode for a few months and, technically, springboard mode much longer.

My buddy Mindy Moretti at just wrote an article about the number of special elections across the country, and we're a poster child for such a thing.

Here, we're charter members of the Election of the Month Club, working on our 13th election in the last 12 months.  I said the same in February, so it's really been about a 14-month string.

Rumor has it that there might be a recall effort afoot in a school district and there's one more district has to decide if there is value in having a special election by July (the others did in January).  That's  just what we know of.

The day after the April 2013 election, for instance, we received a phone call from the city of Overland Park regarding a mail-ballot election.  It was a renewal of a tax.  Special elections often are for taxes that require another vote for renewal, so some of that may come up this year.

In addition, the Kansas legislature is getting closer to making substantive changes to the election cycles.

We've already seen the city of Los Angeles move city elections to the fall of even years, starting in 2020, but Kansas had such an initiative top of mind for a few years now.  If something passes this spring in Kansas, it likely will have more of an appearance of "me too" nationally, but it was unrelated.

Regardless, the big question for us, it seems, isn't if changes will pass, but whether they will be for even or odd years.  I prefer odd, elections every August and November. 

We'll see how this plays out in the next month.

Such a change may buy us a bit of time in our plans to identify a new voting system.  Our initial plan (hope) was to make the spring 2017 elections the last with our current system.  We haven't made the progress we'd like in this area (see "13 elections in the last 12 months") so seeing the last use of the system move to the fall of 2017 artificially makes it seem like we have more time.

We're still hoping to implement in 2018.  If nothing else, we might be able to try something in parallel if the elections are in the fall.

For now, same ol' drill--election worker assignments, election worker training beginning Tuesday, scheduling headaches because the election is right after Easter weekend and, of course, the Kansas Jayhawks, should they advance to the NCAA championship game, would play that game the night before the Spring election.

My experience has been that when the Jayhawks are assumed to be advancing, they've never been a worry come election day.  This year, with no expectations and all eyes on Kentucky, and as busy as we've been, Murphy's Law may come into play.

No complaints, if so.  After all, the Royals made a run to the World Series during the fall election and cities tend to land these "all or nothing" sports scenarios.  Kansas City deserves it all.  If that adds more stress to us on election day because polling places may not be open or workers may have overslept--keeping in mind we're numb anyway--that's stress we'll be happy to take on.

Mostly, we'll just be happy for the chance at a break in the Election of the Month streak..  I remember the good ol' days when we averaged an election every other month.

Of course, there will be more time for updating. 

I'm sorry, Dear Reader, if you think I've lost my zest for typing.  It's been hard to find time.  There is no shortage of material, and I hope to get back to that soon.