Roller Coaster Democracy

A few weeks ago, I shared my experience in going to the state capitol to support a bill that would allow counties to have a mail ballot for the upcoming special election. I wanted to share with you a quick update.

After the committee hearing that I attended, the Judiciary Committee, on a party line vote, decided to table it. This meant that the only way it could be moved forward to the full House for consideration was if it was “blasted” out of committee. A vote was put before the House to take this action, and the action failed to pass, meaning the bill died. It was incredibly disappointing to see our state legislators fail to support saving money and increasing voter participation. It was heartbreaking.

Today, that heartbreak has turned into hope. In an outstanding act of leadership and real democracy in action, our amazing governor added an amendment to an approved bill waiting for his signature. This amendment will allow for counties to have a mail ballot for the special election. In the words of Governor Bullock, “what is better for democracy than to put a ballot in the hands of every registered voter?”

Within minutes of this announcement, dozens of people started calling House representatives urging them to support this amended bill, which will now have to pass both chambers, but only with a simple majority. My sense is that the revised bill will pass and we’ll get our ballots by mail.

To be a part of the process, to witness it from start to finish, has been incredibly inspiring. It has been a roller coaster, and it has not been boring. This is what democracy looks like.

I’m hooked.  Are you?

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