May 18 2014

OPINION: Change Piedmont’s Election Date to November

The following letter was sent to the City Council and PCA:
To the Piedmont City Council:
        Move Piedmont’s election date to the November General Election date.  Alternatives presented in the staff report notwithstanding, none outweigh the value of increasing voter turnout in our local election.  The most recent election turnout supports this – an incumbent, two popular candidates and a measure guaranteed to save money and yet voter turnout was only 37%.  All good governance organizations support consolidating elections with the General Election so that turnout is enhanced. As to the concerns of PUSD, there is always access to the June primary ballot, as is currently being done with Measure H.
       I think the concerns about a November election raised by the City Clerk are fairly minor.  Placement on the ballot card and voter fatigue are offset by receiving the ballot through the mail. Indeed, most Piedmonters may have selected this option so that they can have a more informed reading of the ballot at home.  Getting precinct  results less rapidly, while creating more election-night drama, would have no effect on the outcome of an election.
       Finally, analysis of a VBM option should not be based on the statistics from the most recent election (as presented in the staff report) because of the exceptionally low turnout. Turnout statistics from a General Election would be more appropriate for this assessment.
                        Garrett Keating, former City Council Member
Staff report on election date change is on the Monday, May 19, Council Agenda.
Editors’ Note:  The opinions expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Piedmont Civic Association.

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