The Death of the Polling Place, Island County, WA

Island County, WA, one of the few remaining Washington County’s with a precinct poll-based system, is switching to Vote-By Mail.

Commissioner Mac McDowell was surprised that no meeting attendees spoke in favor of the current system. In fact, the county received only one e-mail praising poll voting.

“It’s sad that we’re ending up here,” he said.

Supporting the election change was a difficult decision, but one the commissioner ultimately made.

Board Chairman Mike Shelton said the most convincing reasoning for switching exclusively to vote-by-mail is the already large percentage of residents who fill out their ballots at home and drop them in the mailbox. However, the commissioner, like his two colleagues, prefers the polling experience.

“I for one am truly an old-style voter and I go to the polls and I like that,” he said. “You see people there that you don’t see often. If I had my druthers, that’s exactly what we would continue to do. However, as my wife often reminds me, I’m getting passed by in a lot of different areas of my life and this appears to be one of them.”

It’s funny to me that all these “leaders” are “following” what they seem to think is public opinion. Leaders should, in my humble opinion, lead. And if the commissioner in Island County was a real leader,  he’d call for a public vote on the issue, and then argue strenuously why the absolute secrecy of the ballot is a consitutional requirement in Washington. He would then explain the many pitfalls of the system, from lost mail to privatized ballot sorting, and work his butt off to educate people about voting integrity. But no… he’s just sad.

I’m outraged.


2 Responses

  1. The link to the original article is no longer working… and the Whidbyey News site doesn’t seem to turn up anything yet…

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