Friday, December 10, 2004

Election Referedndum Review

Election Referendum Revisited Again!! If you scroll my archives you will find this topic. I wrote about this referendum to bring the City Election Commission into the County where by law it should be. If you recall, hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars would have been saved every year. However, the company selling the City Election Commission their supplies and maintenance donated $2500 dollars to the campaign and City Election employees donated many more thousands in advertising to mislead and confuse the issue and in turn, confuse the voter. Also, if you recall, the vote “yes” or “no” on the referendum was confusing to a lot of people. It confused the “yes” voter more than the “no” voter because the “yes” voter wanted only one Election Commission and that was to be run by the County Clerk who runs all Peoria County elections. (The County clerk is elected by the public and the City Election Commission is appointed).

The City Election Commission allegedly had quite a few problems during the recent general election; evidently enough that Ricca Slone is going to get a recount on Wednesday of next week with the major bulk of the recount to be paid by the taxpayer. Evidently many of the City of Peoria election judges were confused and a sizeable number of provisional ballots mishandled. This is what happened:

In the City of Peoria with 68,000 registered voters only 40 provisional ballots were cast and only 1 was counted!
In the County of Peoria with 53,000 registered voters 231 provisional ballots were cast and 75 were counted.

Something doesn’t appear right and I believe this is why Ricca is asking for a recount.
In the City of Peoria precincts, the election judges were told that before giving out a provisional ballot, the election judges had to first call the election commission to get the okay. This took 20-40minutes. Most people couldn’t wait that long or were dismayed by the process.

Peoria County had a much simpler process and did not have the problems the city had. These problems would not have occurred if the March 2004 referendum had passed. I exposed (My research not only appeared on this site but was also printed in full in the Community Word in their September 2004 issue) who the large donations came from that helped defeat the referendum. I wrote how closing out the City Election Commission would affect a vendor (donated $2500.00) and a number of City Election Commission employees financially. With continued problems created by the City Election commission, the voters might want to reexamine their votes and ask for another referendum.

The right time for this question to appear on a ballot would be the general of 2006. The League of Women Voters who sponsored the failed referendum this spring should not give up.

Taxpayers are looking for ways to trim government spending and stop the tax increases. Combining local government is one way to do it and despite Mayor Ransburg’s recent letter stating all the progress the City has made with the County on combining services, the surface has just been scratched.

I close with this quote from Ronald Reagan “Bureaucracy defends the status quo long past the time when the quo has lost its status”.



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