Voters actually prefer consolidated elections, and even Democrat voters favor them by a margin of 73% to 27%. But Democrat politicians hate the idea:
In the ongoing fight between Democrats and Republicans over election procedures like voter ID and early voting, the Democrats are supposedly the champions of higher turnout and reducing barriers to participation. But when it comes to scheduling off-cycle elections1 like those taking place today, the Democratic Party is the champion of voter suppression.
Scheduling elections at odd times appears to be a deliberate strategy aimed at keeping turnout low, which gives more influence to groups like teachers unions that have a direct stake in the election’s outcome.
Consolidation is popular, and during the decade-long period between 2001 and 2011 that Anzia studied, state legislatures across the country considered over 200 bills aimed at consolidating elections. About half, 102 bills, were focused specifically on moving school board election dates so that they would coincide with other elections. Only 25 became law.
The consolidation bills, which were generally sponsored by Republicans, typically failed because of Democratic opposition, according to Anzia. By her account, Democrats opposed the bills at the urging of Democratic-aligned interest groups, namely teachers unions and municipal employee organizations.
Why do Democrats and Democratic-aligned groups prefer off-cycle elections? When school boards and other municipal offices are up for election at odd times, few run-of-the-mill voters show up at the polls, but voters with a particular interest in these elections — like city workers themselves — show up in full force. The low-turnout election allows their policy goals to dominate.
Anzia shows that off-cycle elections lead to higher salaries and better health and retirement benefits for teachers and public employees.
While Democratics such as Pantsuit routinely castigate Republicans because they support such travesties as consolidated elections and verifiable voter identification, arguing that it's a cynical ploy to disenfranchise "millions of American voters" while claiming that voter fraud is an imaginary bogeyman dreamed up by Republicans in order to achieve their goal of disenfranchisement, the opposite is actually true: off-cycle elections are unpopular, they suppress voter turnout, and verifiable voter identification serves to buttress election integrity.
When Pantsuit asks, as she did last Thursday, "What part of democracy are they afraid of?" in reference to Republicans, she is - as usual - lying to the American people:
"Republicans are systematically and deliberately trying to stop millions of Americans from voting. What part of democracy are they afraid of?" Clinton said. The GOP, she said, needs to "start explaining why they're so scared of letting citizens have their say."
No, Pantsuit, the GOP has nothing to explain. You and your fellow Democratics do. And it's time to stop lying (assuming you're capable of accomplishing that feat).