New York: Concerns of ‘Voter Fatigue’ as New York Schedules Four 2016 Election Days | Gotham Gazette

As New Yorkers begin a year of many voting opportunities, there are important questions that elections will help answer – like who the next U.S. President will be and which party will control the state Senate – but also concern about voter fatigue and thus, turnout. There will be at least four chances for New Yorkers to cast votes in 2016, with three different primary election days leading up to November’s general election. There will be a presidential primary vote in April; congressional primaries in June; and state legislative primaries in September. There will also be special elections sprinkled in to fill empty seats in the state Assembly and Senate.

Editorials: Voter Fatigue in New York | The New York Times

Even the most civic-minded New Yorkers may become exasperated next year when they are asked to vote in four separate elections. This extra burden on voters is yet another sign of the enduring dysfunction in Albany. New York State lawmakers created this problem because it’s easier on the politicians, even though it’s costly and harder on the voters. New York’s presidential primary is set for April 19. Congressional primaries are expected to be held on June 28, and state legislative primaries on Sept. 13, with the general election on Nov. 8. There is no reason the state primary can’t be held on the same day as the congressional primary, thus eliminating the extra election and saving the state $50 million.

Editorials: The voter turnout conundrum in Los Angeles | Los Angeles Times

It’s one of the worst ideas we’ve heard in a long time: Last week, the Los Angeles Ethics Commission floated a plan to offer cash prizes as an incentive to get Angelenos to vote in local elections. Sheer desperation, as far as we can tell, led the commission to propose an election day lottery, with a jackpot of $1,000 or more that might persuade more registered voters to go to the polls. Would it work? Probably. But it’s still a bad idea. The folks pushing the lottery concept are well-intentioned and obviously disheartened by Los Angeles’ record of terrible voter turnout. Just 23% of registered voters bothered to cast a ballot in last year’s mayoral election. Last week, turnout was an abysmal 9.5% for a Los Angeles Unified School Board special election. But dangling a cash prize over the polls is a cynical and superficial pseudo-solution that fails to address the deeper reasons why people don’t vote. If the Ethics Commission and the City Council want to increase engagement and participation on election day — and they should — they would do better to focus on specific changes that make it easier to cast a ballot, while also getting to work on larger, longer-term reforms that could help counter the pervasive civic malaise that prevents so many Angelenos from feeling engaged in the democratic process.

Virginia: Weather may hit voter turnout for State Senate special election | Washington Times

Cold temperatures and snowfall forecast for the region could complicate Northern Virginia’s special election Tuesday. Voters heading to the polls in Fairfax and Loudoun counties to choose a new state senator are expected to be confronted with the heaviest snowfall so far this winter. National Weather Service officials said the D.C. area could see 4-5 inches of snow beginning late Tuesday morning through Wednesday, with a worst-case scenario of up to 8 inches. Officials said that regardless of whether schools are closed, the election will be held and the sites that are scheduled to serve as polling locations will be open to voters.

Mali: Mali battles voter fatigue ahead of parliamentary polls | eNCA

People in Mali are being urged to cast off election fatigue and vote Sunday in the fourth nationwide polls in less than six months, amid widespread apathy stoked by fears of Islamist violence. The second round of the country’s parliamentary elections comes three weeks after a poorly attended first, and follows two rounds of voting in July and August which saw Ibrahim Boubacar Keita take office as the troubled west African nation’s president. “There is a feeling that after the election of the president of the republic, it was game over. This is a mistake, but that’s how it is,” said Mamadou Samake, a sociologist and lecturer at the University of Bamako, who told AFP that Malians were “tired of going to vote”. Sunday’s polls, completing Mali’s return to democracy, come during an upsurge in violence by Al-Qaeda-linked rebels who stalk the vast northern desert, an ever-present danger to French and African troops who are tasked with providing security alongside the Malian army.