Idaho's Weekly Journal of Local & National Commentary Week 2815


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by Free Market Duck

NO campaign thanks YES campaign for abuse of Absentee Ballots, encourages re-vote by mail
(Jun 8, 2007)

A thousand dollars says a re-vote by mail to all ELIGIBLE voters on the Community College issue would produce an overwhelming defeat.  Wanna bet?

Boise, ID – Adding insult to injury, the YES campaign instigators who abused Idaho’s Absentee Ballot system in the Community College election thumbed their noses at all the eligible voters and lied in an Idaho Statesman Reader’s View on Friday, June 08, 2007.

   The YES campaign said, “More than two-thirds of voters in Ada and Canyon counties said yes” to the new Community College system.  That’s not exactly true and the YES campaign’s tricky word play constitutes an intentional lie.  The YES instigators should have clarified by saying, “two-thirds of the VOTERS WHO VOTED,” but even that is not true since only 62% of the VOTERS WHO VOTED in Canyon county voted yes, not 67%.

   The truth is that NEITHER two-thirds of the ELIGIBLE or REGISTERED VOTERS in Ada or Canyon counties voted yes for the new Community College.  Of the VOTERS WHO DID VOTE, 62% of Canyon County voters voted yes, and 70% of Ada County voted yes.

   The total number of eligible voters in Ada and Canyon counties is approximately 500,000.  246,700 are registered to vote.  Of the 46,000 who voted, 31,500 voted yes, 14,500 voted no.

   Crunching the numbers:  6% of the ELIGIBLE VOTERS voted yes; 13% of the REGISTERED VOTERS voted yes.  Clearly the system is broken when a 6% minority of the voting population can raise property taxes for the other 94%.

   The YES campaigners not only lied in their insulting article, they lied during the election by gaming the rules.  First, they called a “special election” which means the Secretary of State does not have to send out voter information.  That makes it secret unless you read the Statesman Classifieds.  Second, the YES group mailed 13,500 unsolicited Absentee Ballot brochures to selected voters so those voters could vote at home.  Absentee Ballots are meant for voters who will be absent on business, vacation, or fighting in Iraq, not sitting at home.  85% of the Absentee Ballots voted yes, as predicted.

   The YES campaigners rebut by saying, “Hey, if the eligible voters fail to show up to vote, they deserve to lose.”  But remember, the use of Absentee Ballots refutes the YES groups’ own defense since their own supporters did not show up to vote.  The yes voters were spoon fed their voter packets by mailing Absentee Ballots to their homes.

   Maybe the voting system isn’t broken.  Maybe we should take a hint from the Pirates of the YES Campaign and pass a law that requires Idaho to mail Absentee Ballots to ALL ELIGIBLE VOTERS in every Idaho election so we can all vote at home by mail.  Since Idahoans can register at the polls, Absentee Ballots should be sent to all eligible voters, not just registered voters.

   In fact, I challenge the YES campaigners to a re-vote:  a thousand dollars says a re-vote by mail to all ELIGIBLE voters in Ada and Canyon counties on the Community College issue would produce an overwhelming defeat.  Wanna bet? -- FM Duck

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