Dave Davies breaks down how much loot goes into even the smaller races on today's ballot:

Candidates endorsed by the city Democratic party are expected to pay Democratic city committee $35,000 to be on the Official Democratic Ballot handed out by the foot soldiers of each of the city's 69 Democratic ward leaders.

Nor does the endorsement come anywhere close to guaranteeing victory. So there's a whole dance of candidates paying off individual ward leaders and politically connected "consultants" to deliver votes for them.

On top of this, ballot position, determined by lottery, is a pretty big determining factor in down-ballot races like those for judge.

The common thread here is that the democratic process in this town doesn't really involve the public making a conscious choice. It's more about money and luck. Which, in our humble opinion, doesn't bode espeically well for quality of governance.

To some extent this can be addressed by reforms like elimination of needlessly elected offices and merit selection of judges. But, as far as voting this afternoon goes, it can be addressed by reading.

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