Inside Opinion

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Tag: poll voting


Census may throw county a curve

Reader Emelyn McKay of University Place had an interesting question after reading our editorial about legislation that would force Pierce County to go to all-mail voting.

The editorial grudgingly concedes that economic realities make it less feasible to keep the polls open and noted that the county is expecting an additional expense after the 2010 Census results are in: “In 2011 the county likely will have to make election materials available in Korean and Spanish due to growth in those populations.”

McKay asks:

Requirements for citizenship state that applicants must be able to read, write, speak and understand English words in ordinary use. Also, an applicant must demonstrate knowledge of the fundamentals of U.S. history and certain principles of U.S. government. If these qualifications are met, why would a native language ballot be necessary?

I asked Auditor Julie Anderson to respond. Here’s what she had to say: Read more »


At what cost should county keep poll voting?

This editorial will appear in Tuesday’s print edition.

Pierce County is facing a hard-knocks budget that would send more people to the unemployment line, give thieves a freer reign and stymie efforts to ensure timely justice.

But poll voting will be spared.

That’s at least the County Council’s plan. The council last week adopted a budget that slashed 300 jobs, pulled sheriff’s deputies from the roads, raised parks and sewer fees and eliminated a Superior Court judgeship.

It also put a twist on County Executive Pat McCarthy’s recommendation to cut the $150,000 set aside for poll voting. The council took the money out of the auditor’s budget – and then forbade the auditor from closing a single polling place.

Read more »


Time to pull the plug on poll voting

This editorial will appear in Sunday’s print edition.
Poll voting’s time is up, sad to say.

Pierce County has gone to heroic lengths to keep tradition alive. But this once-proud civic custom is but a shadow of its former self – and an expensive one at that.

Would that it weren’t so. Voting at the local school or fire hall (“as God intended it,” we once wrote, not entirely in jest) seemed like a rite of passage in a democracy.

Read more »


If poll voting dies, RCV could be partly responsible

Today’s story about Pat McCarthy wanting to do away with poll voting because of a pinched county budget sparked my memory of an exchange I had with Auditor Jan Shabro earlier this year.

I wrote to Shabro at the time she was arguing for the County Council to do away with poll voting to help ease budget cuts in her office. I was inquiring about her assertion that poll voting costs an extra $150,000 a year. We had long heard from her predecessor – McCarthy – that conducting elections entirely by mail would actually cost the county more than

Read more »