Hopping on the non partisan election administration bandwagon

Count me as another voice in favor of non partisan election administration, as Rick Hasen recently opined in the NY Times, and as Bob Bauer wrote in agreement.

As Bob notes, partisan influence need not be conscious or even present in order to lead one to support this important reform.

Here in the state of Oregon, as in many states, the Secretary of State, Bill Bradbury, is elected on a partisan ballot and runs state elections. I’ve posted many times regarding the excellent election administration in Oregon, what Rick called “squeaky clean” in his op-ed.

But even Bradbury has been accused of partisanship, most frequently when his office has to make a determination over whether a referendum or initiative has sufficient signatures to qualify for the ballot. (Unlike in a vote by mail election, where every signature is checked, the SoS checks a random sample of signatures on petitions.)

There is really no good reason to leave election administration in partisan hands. The depth of partisan divisions, and ongoing public distrust in election outcomes, makes it vital that we pursue this important reform.

I only write for myself here, and not for my collaborators on this blog. But sign me up as one more supporter.