Mar 06, 2015 11:51AM
● By Taylorsville Mayor Larry Johnson
In the February 18th city council meeting, we had the opportunity to hear about two available voting options from the Salt Lake County Clerk’s Office for the upcoming Taylorsville 2015 municipal election.
The first option presented was to conduct an exclusive city wide vote by mail election. This option would take away traditional “early voting” in-person ballot voting offered at Taylorsville City Hall; however voters would still have the option of dropping their vote by mail ballots at a ballot box location for a set time period prior to Election Day. This would restrict residents that prefer traditional in-person ballot voting to do so only on one day, Election Day.
The second option continues to allow all residents the choice to vote by mail which includes all the options to drop off their vote by mail ballots at City Hall for a set period prior to Election Day. In addition, residents who want the option of traditional in-person ballot voting would have that opportunity available to them for the “early voting” period as well as on Election Day.
After much consideration and thought – I am strongly opposed to the first option of a city wide vote by mail. I have weighed the pros and cons of the proposal, and feel strongly that the potential negatives of the city wide vote by mail outweigh the positives. My first concern is it restricts the individual choice of each resident to select their preferred method of voting. The City of Taylorsville currently has the option/choice to vote by mail. Approximately 33% of Taylorsville residents chose to vote with this method. This requires us to ask why we would restrict, limit, or make more difficult, the process for which the majority of voters have chosen. My second concern is the limited provisions currently in place to prevent voter fraud. It has been expressed that it is not uncommon for residents who move out of state to still receive vote by mail ballots at their past address.
I feel the right and responsibility of each resident to vote is a very serious matter, and provide the most options for residents to cast their vote. To make a decision that removes options or increases the potential for fraud to a system that is so very fundamental to our government could prove to be a serious error. It is evident by the number of residents turning out to vote how serious this responsibility is already taken. It is important that voters become educated about candidates and issues, and cast a vote for those whose views closely reflect their own. This is the only way we have true representation of the people; even if that representation is a small percentage. For those residents who want to vote by mail, that option is available today with either option. The ability to vote by traditional ballot is only available with the 2nd option. I FEEL IT IS IMPERATIVE RESIDENTS HAVE A CHOICE IN VOTING METHODS AND THEREFORE SUPPORT THE OPTION THAT INCLUDES BOTH VOTE BY MAIL AND TRADITIONAL BALLOT VOTING.
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