Letters to the Editor

Voting opinion lacks examples

I disagree with your editorial’s conclusion (“Just asking for problems,” May 3) that, “Mail voting undermines the two pillars of democracy: One-man, one-vote, and the secret ballot.”

You offer absolutely no facts or real examples that would support such conclusions. Furthermore, you seemingly infer that the many thousands of us already voting via permanent absentee ballots are perpetuating voter fraud of some sort. Tell me, is it in Marcia Van Dyke’s house that “others probably vote the way they are told, not wanting to cause a scene at the kitchen table”? Is it in Jim Larsen’s household that “some people vote twice, perhaps for a disinterested spouse who is willing to sign a ballot”? These are crimes, and, if occurring, people committing those crimes should be charged and punished.

While I disagree with your conclusion I do think the by-mail voting process could be improved upon. The increased percentages of voters that turn out for elections via mail voting with permanent absentee ballots is a good thing. If not for absentee ballots and mail voting, taxing districts that run special elections could continue to run old-style “stealth” elections. However, since a balanced voter’s guide is not required by law for special elections, the “stealth” election is still rather alive and well, only morphed into a 21st Century iteration of itself. In its present form, mail-in ballots undermine an open elections process by suppressing viewpoints opposed to a taxing district’s desires. A voter’s guide for all special elections should be required by law. Otherwise, let’s do away with all special elections and allow excess levies and bonds to be voted on only at the primary and general elections, where the Auditor’s Office (versus the taxing district) has the authority to print and distribute a balanced voter’s guide.

William Burnett

Oak Harbor

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