Why Can't We Have Fair Elections
By Robert D. Warner
August 12, 2010
Dear Sitnews Editor:
For a number of years I have been wondering why Ketchikan cannot
have fair and honest elections. All too often there are direct
attempts to confuse the voter. Such practices are discouraging
and likely are primary reasons for low voter turnout. This current
vote on the public library is an excellent example.
When a group of citizens became dissatisfied with plans to build
a new public library in a semi-isolated rock pit, they launched
a successful grassroots effort to change this decision. Several
Ketchikan City Council members apparently were angry that their
decision to build a new library at Copper Ridge was being questioned.
Then, the Ketchikan City Council generated voter confusion by
adding a frivolous proposition which would bless a decision
they had already made. The voter is now unable to vote a simple
yes or no on the issue. They have to vote twice with the frivolous
City Council proposition listed first on the ballot.
Why didn't someone on the council show some leadership and courage
by addressing this confusion? Perhaps the most shocking aspect
of this public library scheme is that citizens have never been
asked to vote on the most basic question of the entire matter.
Does Ketchikan need a new public library in the first place?
Why have many communities discovered that they no longer need
large physical buildings and space to house little used collections
of books and magazines in this era of computers? Certainly during
periods of economic weakness we need to focus more attention
to essential government services rather than frills.
Robert D. Warner
Received August 12, 2010 -
Published August 12, 2010
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