Our View: A vote for change

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Craig Editorial Board, Jan. 14, 2009, to April 2009

  • Bryce Jacobson, newspaper representative
  • Joshua Roberts, newspaper representative
  • Collin Smith, newspaper representative
  • Marianna Raftopoulos, community representative
  • Luke Schafer, community representative
  • John Smith, community representative
  • Lois Wymore, community representative

The numbers don't lie.

And, when it comes to Craig city elections in April, the numbers say voter turnout is embarrassingly low. Low enough, in fact, that the Editorial Board believes city officials should consider amending the city's charter and rescheduling elections for November.

According to voting records, there hasn't been more than 700 votes cast in any city election since at least 2001.

Voter turnout in those elections is listed below:

• 2001: 370 voters out of 5,293 registered voters, 6.9 percent.

• 2003: 526 voters out of 5,399 registered voters, 9.7 percent.

• 2005: 549 voters out of 5,334 registered voters, 10.2 percent.

• 2007: 671 voters out of 5,134 registered voters, 13 percent.

By comparison, Moffat County elections, which take place in November along with state and national ballot questions and candidates, have had much better voter participation.

In 2001, 1,683 voters out of 8,884 registered voters cast a ballot. A year later, in 2002, those numbers swelled to 4,629 voters out of 9,243. Last year - although the numbers perhaps were a bit inflated by the presidential race - the county registered, 5,912 votes out of 8,331 voters, or a 70-percent voter turnout.

The Editorial Board believes City Council positions are too important to the local community to be left to the decisions of only a small percentage of mindful, responsible voters.

True, it is not the city's fault that enough voters don't come out in April. But that there is such a large portion of apathetic voters is a topic for another time.

The city may not be responsible for low turnout, but it can do the responsible thing and do something to help change it.

The Editorial Board contends that tacking a city election onto a November ballot would be beneficial to the public and to the city.

Having all election matters on one date gets candidate and ballot issue studying out of the way for the year for voters, would be more convenient and involve a greater number of people in the process of choosing new public servants and deciding public matters.

If nothing else, as the voter turnout numbers indicate, there isn't much for the city to lose by experimenting with a November ballot.

It's too late to do anything about the April 7 election, which now is less than two weeks away. It's not too late for the next election, however, and a ballot change is at least worth considering.

Of course, city voters could make this question meaningless by simply doing what they are asked and showing up April 7 to participate in an important process.

Comments

oldsage 5 years, 6 months ago

"The Editorial Board believes City Council positions are too important to the local community to be left to the decisions of only a small percentage of mindful, responsible voters."

Yea right, it should be left to the large percentage of non-mindful, irresponsible voters!

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taxslave 5 years, 6 months ago

Are they telling us that less than 10 percent of the population gave us the hospital and school project at the same time?

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lonelyone 5 years, 6 months ago

that is very possible, since a large majority of residents don't bother to vote. People who don't vote don't have a right to complain about what is going on. I voted and that gives me a right to complain if the vote went against my wishes. Doesn't do me any good, but at least I had a say and I have a right to express my opinion. It is a shame tho, that so few people can decide what is going to happen to so many residents, just because they felt their vote wouldn't make a difference and didn't get out and try anyway.

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taxslave 5 years, 6 months ago

I've asked people why they don't vote and they say because of fraud. Do we have voter fraud? A scam like presidential elections?

Perhaps "Open" counting of the ballots, counting in the OPEN would help. Ballots SHOULD be counted in the open.

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als362 5 years, 6 months ago

My opinion of people saying they don't vote because of fraud, is a cop out. This is an easy thing to say for those that don't want to take the few minutes it takes to vote an excuse that is valid only in their mind.
The real excuse is that they just flat didn't take the few minutes it takes to vote, period.

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lonelyone 5 years, 6 months ago

You voted for the Communist party??? Why that is un-American!!! Shame on you. ;o}

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Ray Cartwright 5 years, 6 months ago

Fraud or not; you tell me. I remember a presidential election years past that I took the time to Vote and vote I did for every person that was running on the communist ticket and guess what! When the totals came out in the Paper there wasn't a single vote for anyone from the communist party. Yes folks this actually happened in Craig America

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oldsage 5 years, 6 months ago

Dented Fender is right, for a long time I suspected fraud was happening and the hospital and middle school votes convinced me. Never believe anything until it is officially denied.... "The selection of the chairman's wife to fill the vacant commissioner position was not an inside job"....... Thanks KC, that was all I needed to hear to know the truth! The corruption here is as bad as you think it is in Mexico.

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