Before addressing what is perceived as a problem, you must know what the cause is. The Democratic party, led by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is attacking the perceived apathy in voting in a Quixotic fashion.

    Is it a problem? Maybe, however the apathy is pervasive in both major parties. It could be argued the apathy is because there are two major parties. Voters are addressing that issue by annually adding more names to the “decline to state” category when choosing or changing a party.

    But both sides of the aisle continue to address a problem that just isn’t there. The right cries voter fraud, when in reality there are very few verified incidents of voter fraud in every election cycle. But they use propaganda to change voting laws to make it more difficult for the already disenfranchised to vote.

    In response, or perhaps on a separate train of thought, the left feels it must make voting easier. We don’t know how much easier it can be to vote, short of carrying a ballot to someone’s door and helping them hold the pen.

    Our voting laws have become so accommodating, it is very easy for any registered voter to vote, fitting their own schedule. We have extended early voting so that in the Española Valley a voter may go up to the Rio Arriba County complex or Lucero Center and suffer no line.

    We’ve created convenience center voting so you can vote at any poll, not just the one your grandfather had to visit.

    Busy on Monday? Go Tuesday. Have to work during the day? Go after five. Go on Saturday.

    Can’t drive? Too far? Fill out an early/absentee ballot request online and it will be mailed to you.

    The governor wants to extend early voting to the Sunday before election day. To what end? We now pay many people to sit around early voting polling locations for three weeks to catch the occasional early voter. Sunday is not needed and it won’t bring in more voters, Democrat or otherwise.

    She also wants to make election day a holiday. Really? A whole day off to go for five minutes to vote? The worst part of that idea is it won't bring more people to the polls, just more people being unproductive.

    We don't need another holiday. We've got plenty of holidays to sit around and contemplate our navels.

    Another terrible idea that won’t increase voter participation is to allow 16-year-olds to vote in local elections. We have an abundance of voters who vote for friends and family, regardless of a candidate’s qualifications. Do we need to add uninformed and poorly educated 16-year-olds to the mix?

    A majority of 18-year-old voters the Española School District releases into the wild read at or below the sixth grade level. Do they know what the issues are? Have they weighed different options and asked candidates where they stand on an issue that affects them directly? Of course not. Most older adults don’t do that either.

    It’s a bad idea to add more uninformed voters to the pool. That is of course unless they’ll vote straight Democrat because mom and dad say that’s what they did all their life.

    Speaking of uninformed voters electing unqualified candidates, we climbed up out of the ooze when we eliminated the straight party ticket option. Lujan Grisham wants to bring that back. The main driver behind that option is to help fellow democrats who are down ballot. They get elected, you can go to them for help come the next election. Coincidentally that’s how a lot of appointed positions work, such as totally unqualified college regents who are politically connected.

    A straight party option allows the party faithful, Ds and Rs alike, to not think about a candidate’s skill, education, ideas or character. Heck, they’re running as a D, I’m a D, I’ll just vote for all the Ds.

    That’s a D move.

    There are answers to voter apathy. They’re not as simple as changing voting ages and what day you can go to the polls. It has to do with first putting a candidate forward who can speak in voters’ English, not polita-speak.

    If an intelligent, informed candidate presented him or herself to voters and presented thought-out answers to community problems, answered questions honestly, with real answers and not the same old empty promises (How many times have we heard a candidate for any office say, “There are grants out there for xyz?”) voters would respond in kind.

    Voters are apathetic because the same tired, recycled zombies run for office after office (at every level) with no results from any activity upon which to hang their hat. New Mexico remains at the bottom of the pile in almost every category and we continue to re-elect the same representatives and senators.

    And zombie voters reelect them and expect them to behave differently during their next term.

    In the last gubernatorial race we had the choice between two former U.S. representatives, neither of whom were shiny pennies. The last thing we need is Washington insiders running the state, but that’s where we are.

    The governor would like to increase the zombie herd and give them an extra day to not vote. She needs to properly analyze the problem and address it from a logical and analytical standpoint, not from a position of push-back against her rival party.

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