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Saturday, February 9, 2019

Letter to Editor on Voting Lawsuit

For John, BLUFIt would be nice to actually solve problems.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The [Lowell] Sun! A Letter to the Editor, 8 February 2019.

Here is the lede plus three:

A recent front-page article in The Sun suggested we do the math with regard to the ongoing voter-rights lawsuit.  I did, with regard to the 2017 local elections, and came away with two lessons learned.  In doing this I arranged the 33 voting precincts from the one with the most votes to the one with the fewest cast (Ward 1, Precinct 2, 531 voters, to Ward 2, Precinct 1, 107 voters).

Looking at the high school ballot Initiative, the result was determined by just a few precincts.  Eight precincts provided the majority needed to pass the proposal to keep the high school downtown.  That is less than 25 percent of the total number of precincts.

This rises the question of fairness.  Should Lowell have an Electoral College-like system for ballot initiatives, to ensure all areas of the city get a say?

On the other hand, in the City Council race in 2017, the ninth and last city councilor, Dave Conway, was finally elected by the votes of the lowest-voting precinct.  This suggests that Conway could not run a campaign focused exclusively on a few high voting precincts, but rather needed to make himself known across the City.  This attention to the broad electorate is even shown for high vote-getters, like Councilors Rita Mercier and Rodney Elliott, who even traveled to Cambodia, showing their interest in the local Cambodian Community.

I don't think the current lawsuit settles anything.

Regards  —  Cliff

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