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Former Sen. Rosa Franklin critical of ex-colleagues for vote to close polls

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on March 7, 2011 at 11:04 am |
March 7, 2011 11:06 am
Rosa Franklin

As the survival of poll voting turned into a partisan issue on the floor of the Senate late Friday, a former senator said she sat at home watching on TVW and just shook her head.

The Legislature “should not have gotten involved in a local food fight between the Executive & Legislative branches of government” in Pierce County, former Sen. Rosa Franklin wrote in an e-mail.

When the Tacoma Democrat was in Olympia, she helped keep bills to end poll voting in Pierce County bottled up in the Senate. A year after she retired, the Senate approved closing polls, and the House is likely to agree. All but two Democrats in the Senate backed the position of Democratic Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy (and Republican Secretary of State Sam Reed) while all but one Republican backed the GOP-led County Council.

“This sets a precedence for usurping local control and when one part of government cannot get what it wants runs to the state to solve their problem,” Franklin wrote.

But supporters say elections are the responsibility of the state, not counties. They say a uniform statewide system of voting is more likely to pass muster with the courts. And the lone Senate GOP supporter, Dan Swecker, has suggested the Pierce County Council might even thank the Legislature for taking away a tough political issue out of its hands.

Franklin said: “Of course it was aimed at Pierce County, without a doubt another poke in the eye by big brother, I was not surprised that it happened after I left the senate.”

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