The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

17 October 2004

Who's paying for this microphone?

The Interested-Participant is frustrated by the absence of vital information on political yard signs:

In every election in my life I've been less informed about local candidates than those running for state and national offices. President, governor, senator, congressman, yes, I know who they are and which party they belong to. When it comes to local offices, I'm lost. The election approaches and there are names in television commercials that I've never heard. People running for judge, county commissioner, school board, dogcatcher, coroner, and they are all strangers to me. Not only that but, in many cases, you aren't given a clue as to which political party they belong to. On a local level, party affiliation is often hidden.

Sometimes there's a reason for this — officially, the election of a Mayor in Oklahoma City is nonpartisan, and judges here tend to be on a retention ballot — but I'm guessing that generally, it's an attempt to get some name recognition before you actually see the ballot and the straight-ticket option (where available).

There is, of course, a solution:

[C]ruise through your community's neighborhoods and look at the signs. If you want to know if Mr. Pick-A-Name is Democrat or Republican, just look at what his sign is placed next to. It doesn't take a lot of effort. Sometime between now and November 2nd, drive around town with a pad of paper. You'll easily be able to figure out who's for Kerry/Edwards and who's for Bush/Cheney. The adjacent signs you'll see are all the local politicians who don't like the voters to know which party brung them.

This does seem to work: I have yet to see any yards with split tickets. Perhaps the people who do cross party lines are less inclined to put up yard signs in the first place. On the other hand, I'm tempted to go offer space to some minor GOP candidate to contrast with the Democratic sign I already have.

(Update, 11:10 am: Then there's this.)

Posted at 10:56 AM to Political Science Fiction


Which is more idiotic?

1> Not knowing what party a candidate is affiliated with.
2> Voting for someone solely because of their party affiliation.

I am now a political anarchist. I don't mean to throw out the government. I like governments. They keep most people in line, just like religion. I mean to toss out the politics. Ditch the party system completely, and while we're at it, toss the electoral system, too. One vote, one vote.

Terkish Payne, if there were some doggy doo in my yard, I'd make a sign that says "What Your Vote Means" with an arrow to it.

Posted by: Terkish Payne at 5:22 PM on 17 October 2004

Mixed party yards aren't all that uncommon where I live. The state's been trending steadily more Republican in the national and statewide races the last decade, but the local and state House races are still dominated by Democrats, so we see lots of signs for Bush &/or our GOP Congresswoman next to Dems running for local office.

Posted by: Dodd at 12:25 PM on 18 October 2004

I really expected more of them here, what with the open Senate seat and the fact that Democrats still have an edge in registrations, but so far it hasn't happened.

Posted by: CGHill at 12:59 PM on 18 October 2004