Andrew Downs

Andrew
Downs

Downs is a political scientist.

Full Biography

Downs is a political scientist.

Full Biography

October 30, 2015 11:04 AM

Is electioneering in the eye of the beholder?

While there might not be much general excitement about the election in Fort Wayne, there has been some excitement about the race for city clerk.  Yes, I typed that the race for city clerk has been exciting.  This is the office that is responsible for maintaining the municipal code, keeping the records of the city council, and keeping the city seal.  It also oversees parking control which would seem to be a good place to…

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October 26, 2015 3:34 PM 1 Comment

When To Vote

Things have been pretty quiet up here leading up to the municipal election next week, but the yard signs have been cropping up in the last couple of weeks.  Last week when I drove by a newly planted sign, I got to thinking about going to the election board office and casting my ballot early. I have no particular reason to think that I should cast my vote early.  I anticipate that I will be…

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September 29, 2015 11:45 AM 1 Comment

Drawing District Boundaries

As an observer, I appreciate the beauty of a carefully crafted district boundary that benefits one party over another.  It is not as difficult to do as it used to be because of the data and technology that is available today, but there still is some art to it. As an observer, I also am dismayed by the ease with which district boundaries can be drawn to benefit one party over another.  Some of the…

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September 18, 2015 7:14 AM

Playing Offense is Different than Playing Defense

Ask anyone who ever has spent much time interacting with the Indiana General Assembly and they will tell you that getting legislation passed is quite a bit harder than keeping something from getting passed.  Proponents of anti-discrimination legislation who don’t know this already may find it out this coming session. An interesting coalition of people and groups came together in the last few years to defeat the same-sex marriage constitutional amendment.  They were able to…

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September 15, 2015 8:36 AM

I Don’t Know Why I Didn’t See This Coming

When the Church of Cannabis opened, I figured that there would be interesting moments.  I figured that there would people from around the Indianapolis area who would attend hoping to use the church as a way to smoke marijuana “legally.”  I figured there might be a few people who would travel from other states (marijuana tourism).  I figured that the church and its activities would provide billable hours for a few attorneys as several new…

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August 28, 2015 7:07 AM

Selfies, Voter Turnout, and Buying Elections

A new law in Indiana (SEA 466) prohibits people from taking selfies after marking their ballots.  According to the law’s author Senator Pete Miller, the intention is to protect against vote buying.  The Indy Star has reported that the ACLU has sued the “Indiana secretary of state, members of the Indiana Election Commission and the superintendent of the Indiana State Police” claiming that the law violates the voter’s right to free speech. With the abysmal…

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August 18, 2015 7:50 AM 1 Comment

And Then There Was One…For Now

I often have joked when talking with groups that I reserved the right to change my predictions and/or to come back and tell them why I was wrong.  This post is one of those times when I will be admitting I was wrong. State Senator Karen Tallian had dropped out of the race for the Democratic nomination for Governor.  Throughout her campaign she had trouble making it to the front of the pack.  First there…

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August 6, 2015 10:55 AM 2 Comments

Who Wants an Increase in Voter Turnout?

Recently, I have been in a few conversations with people who bemoan the voter turnout rates in Indiana.  There is no doubt the rate in Indiana is low.  The statewide turnout for the 2015 primaries was 12.3% with Tippecanoe (4.0%) and Starke (33.7%) being the extremes.  The 2015 Indiana Civic Health Index showed that Indiana ranked last in the country in voter turnout in 2014. I agree with the people who say this turnout is…

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July 27, 2015 9:36 AM

How Much Is a Bicentennial Worth?

The Indy Star published an article on July 27th about state spending on Indiana’s bicentennial.  In the article Chase Downham, Indiana Director of Americans for Prosperity, expressed concern over the price tag.  I’m willing to bet that Downham is not alone.  I’m also willing to bet that even the people who support the cost will disagree on how to spend the money.  That is what happens when you have more than a couple of people…

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July 16, 2015 10:46 AM 1 Comment

Volunteers + Money = Success

The campaign finance reports for gubernatorial candidates have been filed and analysis and speculation have begun (or continued for some of us). Glenda Ritz raised $30,500 in the first half of 2015 for her gubernatorial campaign.  We need to remember that she was a declared gubernatorial candidate for a short part of that period and that it will take some time to set up a good fund raising operation.  Even with these qualifying statements, she…

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