The economic impact of our elections, and maybe we need to move them.

This year we’re seeing record amounts spent on elections. Some have projected upwards of $5 billion. Even if you live in a state that isn’t in play for the Presidential election, you are still watching record numbers of commercials for house seats and local elections.

Media companies are required to sell space and time at “political rates” which are supposed to be the lowest available rates. However, when everyone wants time, the rates go up. This means businesses that want to advertise, in the critical fourth quarter, where many retailers can do up-to 80% of their business, can’t afford media time, or the cost of media has gone up considerably.

With the economy in a slump, maybe the first thing we should consider is taking the constant barrage of :30 second mudslings off the air, and bundle them into a one hour show each night- so that the real business of America can continue. Or, move elections to the March- so that the media buys are in the first quarter, where they only have to compete with Valentines day and other Hallmark holidays.

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7 Responses

  1. Dad October 23, 2008 / 9:44 am
    Under the Constitution, election day is determined by Congress and must be the same in all 50 states.

    Getting Congress to change it would require that Congress or members of Congress would gain some benefit from a change. Can you think of one reason why Turner would prefer elections in March rather than in November?

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  2. David Esrati October 23, 2008 / 10:12 am

    Operative word is “think”- are you asking for members of congress to be able to do that without help from lobbyists and special interest groups?
    I think the patriotic thing to do would be to move election day to the 4th of July- it’s already a National Holiday- and then there might be some connection between the two.
    And- it wouldn’t interfere with fourth quarter media.

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  3. J.R. Locke October 23, 2008 / 1:51 pm
    I am sure Congress would think about and realize if they switched the elections from November to March they would be accused of being in bed with the credit card industry, retail services etc…..

    I have no problem with the fourth of July idea. It’s all about how you package it!

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  4. gladgirl October 24, 2008 / 2:29 am
    Originally voting day was on the first Tuesday of November because all the farmers were finished for the season and the harvest was in. They had church that Sunday, a day off to travel to the polls (Monday) and then voted on Tuesday. I’m thinking this schedule was also decided on in the days before females were voting too. This schedule is no longer culturally current and it needs to be changed to reflect how Americans work and live presently. In other cultures the votes take place over a weekend. Why not here?
    Oh- and this might be a good place to do a little FYI. I was in my poll workers training class last night and from what the BOE workers there were telling us that the early voting has been jammed packed most every day. They have even brought in cots for some BOE personnel to help with the strenuous work schedule they are already encountering. Record early turnout this election. If you want to avoid long lines at your precinct on election day you can still vote early downtown at the BOE but they say come very very early or later after lunch.
    And if you are working the polls election day, word of advice; vote before election day or consider and absentee ballot- do not count on running over to your personal precinct during your lunch or dinner break and getting back to where you are a judge that day. They anticipate long lines.

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  5. TeresaLea October 24, 2008 / 3:30 pm
    That’s great news gladgirl… thanks for sharing.

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  6. gladgirl October 24, 2008 / 5:42 pm
    Here’s a bit of info for anyone interested that doesn’t already know this:

    The Montgomery County Ohio Board of Elections is on W. 3rd. Street, on the lower level, across from Sinclair Community College.

    BRING A CURRENT PICTURE ID!! (license is best) or you may bring a utility bill or bank statement or phone bill as long as it has YOUR name and the address matches what you have on file with the BOE. Your address must match the one in the address book at the polls.

    PASSPORTS ARE NO LONGER ACCEPTED AS ID.

    Voting hours are:
    Friday, October 24 7:00 am – 6:00 pm
    Saturday, October 25 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
    Sunday, October 26 12:?00 noon – 5:00 pm
    Monday, October 27 – Friday, October 31 7:00 am – 6:00 pm
    Saturday, November 1 7:00 am – 6:00 pm
    Sunday, November 2 12:00 noon – 6:00 pm
    Monday, November 3 7:00 am – 6:00 pm

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