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Letters to the Editor

Skewed figures

April 7, 2007

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To the editor:

Indeed voter turnout is not the pride of Lawrence.

But to say the leading candidate for City Commission received only 20.6 percent is misleading. In fact, no one could receive more than 33.3 percent if all voters cast three votes and one received votes from all residents who came to the polls. There were 14,618 ballots cast in city and school board voting and Mr. Dever received 7,349 votes or 50.2 percent (and not all the 14,618 were inside the city to vote on City Commission). The percentages for the others were 46.5 percent for Rob Chestnut and 42.4 percent for Boog Highberger. These percentage would be higher, if I knew how many of the 14,618 ballots were not voting for City Commission.

The same critique is merited for school board reports. Scott Morgan received 7,865 votes or 53.8 percent. Percentages for the other winners would be: Rich Minder 38.7 percent, Mary Loveland 37.2 percent and Marlene Merrill 35.0 percent.

American voting is nothing to brag about, but this reporting diminishes it unnecessarily.

Let me also express my preference for the tabular format for reporting votes by precincts. I choose not to go across the many reports to find more specific results. The old way was better.

Donald Conrad, Lawrence

Comments

altarego 7 years ago

The radical thing about increasing voter turnout is registered voters getting off their lazy apathetic asses and voting. I they won't do that, then good. They always get the government t they deserve.

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swan_diver 7 years ago

The radical thing about increasing the turnout on election day is this: the man doesn't want turnout. He wants ongoing control. Whether it's a new ordinance mandating a floor for turnout for election certification, or weekend elections -- like they stage EVERYWHERE in the world but here -- getting out the vote moves civilization in the right direction.

Inquires about what race has to do with political and economic power?

http://tinyurl.com/2aap5w

55% of African American 12th graders won't graduate from high school this spring. Who gives a damn, if you're white.

American society is race and gender-neutral. All men are created equal.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

Very good points, VoR. There really isn't any reason voting can't be done by mail, as it's done in Oregon, which means everybody can vote when they're ready and it's convenient--

http://www.sos.state.or.us/executive/Southwell.pdf

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Kathy Getto 7 years ago

Sunday elections like they have in some parts of Europe? Tuesday elections were originally set so folks could go to church on Sunday, drive to the polling place on Tuesday (Monday if they lived 'way out in the holler'), then return to their homestead. Like many parts of our political systems, Tuesday voting is 18th or 19th century in origin. On the other hand, if we can't engage the populace more effectively, it won't matter when elections take place. If the downward trend of voter participation continues, in my humble opinion, our republic will eventually be in extreme peril. Incidentally, the size of the counties was set so a farmer could drive his team to the county seat and return in the same day. We need to revisit the number and size of counties sometime to bring them into the 21srt century.

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Richard Heckler 7 years ago

I say change the voting day to Saturday 9AM - 9PM for all elections. Do them all in November.

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hawkperchedatriverfront 7 years ago

bozo, a choice was made, so please gas up your bus and take a road trip and for god's sake...get a porta potty..that bus must be stinkin' by now

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SettingTheRecordStraight 7 years ago

Swan, What does race have to do with this?

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

I agree, b3. Even if you don't like the candidates, there was a very clear difference in what they would do as commissioners. Choose one direction or the other, but at least choose.

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b3 7 years ago

Not voting because you didn't like any of the candidates is about the dumbest them that you could have done because, surprise, surprise, somebody is going to get elected. It doesn't matter if like them or not. Do a write in, if you don't vote you don't have any right to complain. Move to Iran if you don't want any rights.

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sourpuss 7 years ago

Perhaps if there were candidates worth voting for who actually forwarded reasonable ideas for improvement, rather than simply pointing fingers, complaining, and promising a "return to the good old days."

I didn't vote because I didn't like any of them. Period.

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Jamesaust 7 years ago

I suppose the date of the elections could always be set to the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November in even-numbered years so that the multiple ballot races could attract voter attention.

But then, that would attract voters whose votes are not desired, now wouldn't it?

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swan_diver 7 years ago

Looks like the neo-fascists are coming out of the woodwork here as usual...

I agree with Bozo, regarding an ordinance which would prohibit election certification without a thresh-hold of registered voters going to the polls. That would get closeted manipulators of the public weal tossing themselves out of bed early -- to quash such a measure.

The fact is, the PLC commissioners AND the latest crop of pave-it-over shills for business and real estate interests in Lawrence represent such a pathetically small percentage of the potential electorate as to make a mockery of so-called democracy in local governance. The Lawrence City Commission represents no one but themselves. Ask our new 'mayor,' a former civics teacher, if she cares.

Political culture in Lawrence is a disgrace -- on both sides of the divide. There isn't any.

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Pilgrim 7 years ago

Posted by b3 (anonymous) on April 7, 2007 at 7:51 a.m.

sounds like a couple of people didnt get the results they wanted. its not everyone elses fault that no one voted for the bozos you did.


"Sounds like?" That's EXACTLY the reason for the whining.

Notice, too, there were no such lamentations last November when the "correct" candidates won some very close races.

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b3 7 years ago

sounds like a couple of people didnt get the results they wanted. its not everyone elses fault that no one voted for the bozos you did.

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oldgoof 7 years ago

Glad to see that teaching "new math" is working.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

"Public participation in local governance in Lawrence, and many communities like it, is a sham."

Quite true. With an 18% turnout, even the top vote-getters recieved the votes of fewer than 1 in 10 of elegible voters. So we'll be led by commissioners and board members who more than 90% of registered voters either don't want, or don't care enough about to bother voting for.

I think the city should consider enacting an ordinance that requires at least 50% turnout for an election to be certified.

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swan_diver 7 years ago

Hear, hear, Don Conrad!!! I've been on this issue for years -- to no avail. The figures are reported like this as intentional FRAUD -- by both the county clerk -- and the Lawrence Journal World. The latter organization LOVES to confuse and bamboozle the public, regarding elections and voting -- to help white professionals maintain their control and manipulation of county and municipal resource and priviledge.

After this year's primary election -- I wrote letters to the top five Department of Political Science faculty members at KU, to complain about same -- and received not a word in reply. It's not clear what they're smoking -- but it must be good stuff. Our Poli-Sci faculty and administrators don't give a flying f**k about accurate reportage of voting statistics. Go figure...

Thanks for pointing out the veritible stupidity of our elections officials -- and the nefarious LJW 'reporting' team -- which either doesn't 'get' it -- or is happy to see these lies (called statistics) stuffed down the throats of a gullible and ignorant Lawrence public.

Public participation in local governance in Lawrence, and many communities like it, is a sham. Lame and lazy public administrators, and their apologists at KU and in the local media help keep it that way.

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