To the editor:
I read with interest Douglas County Clerk Patty Jaimes' comments regarding low voter turnout in Tuesday's election. During the previous election, I called Ms. Jaimes to ask why certain voting sites in Lawrence displayed "vote here" signs and other sites did not. Ms. Jaimes quickly responded to my inquiry by ensuring that signs were placed where they had been omitted.
It is disappointing to see this trend repeating itself during Tuesday's election. Granted, registered voters generally know where to vote. However, "vote here" signs serve as a reminder to us all of our civic responsibility to freely choose officials who represent our values. The press has recently reported incidents of voter intimidation along racial lines at polls across the nation. While what appears to be occurring in Lawrence is not outright intimidation, it gives the appearance of bias. When certain portions of our city receive more visual cues than others, it is inevitable that inequality and under-representation will exist.
During the next election, I encourage voters throughout the city to monitor the use of visual cues at the polls and to make the county clerk's office aware of any oversights so that all voters receive the same prompts to vote on election day.