Bysiewicz criticized for lackluster voter participation efforts

The Day: <read>

With so many candidates and campaigns coming to a head in August, one would think the chief elections officer, Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz, must be busy educating registered voters. (Bysiewicz was a candidate herself for not one but two offices this election cycle, until the state Supreme Court declared her ineligible to run for attorney general, an office she sought after initially declaring a run for governor.)
Here’s what the secretary of the state’s website has to say: “Our vision is to be the leader in providing prompt quality service, increasing access to information, and promoting participation in the democratic process.”
Perhaps Bysiewicz needs to have her vision checked. There are virtually no public service announcements, nothing prominent on her website and it appears not even a directive to registrars of voters across the state to disseminate information on what the 837,240 unaffiliated registered voters need to do to participate in the democratic process.

The Aug. 10 primary is open only to registered Democrats and Republicans. Anyone who is unsure whether they are registered with a party should call their local registrar of voter’s office and confirm their status…

Bysiewicz is apparently visiting newspapers asking them to get out the word about this. Her office needs to do much more than that.

Update 7/13/2010 Bysiewicz Responds to Criticism <read>

The Secretary of the State has responded with a flurry of get out the vote activities along with responding to the criticism that she was overlooking third parties in encouraging voters to register in one of the major parties for the primary.


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