The question of the long ballot is back in the news today, with good posts by Jamelle Bouie and Matt Yglesias.
Regular readers know that I'm asking for people's voting stories -- post them here if you've already voted, or I'll do another thread on Tuesday. It occurs to me though that I haven't actually restated my position recently, which is that while I like American tradition of holding lots and lots of elections, I don't like the progressive innovations of ballot measures (especially at the statewide level) and nonpartisan elections, and I agree with Bouie and Yglesias that judicial elections are just an all-around bad idea. I'd also prefer a more unified executive branch in state governments, with states following the federal example of appointed (and confirmed) attorneys general and other department heads. That would still leave Americans with quite a few more elections than most other democracies, but it would give voters a fighting chance of knowing what they're doing.
Also, I strongly agree that beyond a minimal number (such as that that voters in Britain have) there's no relationship at all between the number of elections and "democracy." I suspect I'm happier with a significantly longer ballot than what Matt Yglesias would prefer in his ideal world, but, really, who thinks that non-partisan judicial elections are a good thing?