Published in the Arizona Daily Sun, August 30, 2015
To the editor:
This fall a ballot will arrive in your mailbox. On it is a series of questions regarding the city charter. Questions 3 and 4 concern the timing of local elections. Question 3 asks if you think local elections should take place in the fall of even-numbered years. Question 4 asks if you prefer local elections to take place in spring of odd-numbered years.
As we know, Flagstaff used to hold its municipal elections in the spring of odd- numbered years, in 2014 we changed it up and held our mayoral and city council elections in the fall at the same time as the federal and state elections. The fact of the matter is more people vote in November elections. In 2014, 54.3 percent of eligible voters weighed in on the mayoral race. In May of 2012, only 38.9 percent of eligible voters cast a ballot in the same race.
The question is simple, do you want a city government that’s voted on by the majority or a minority?
The other issue is money — taxpayers would have to pay for this special election. The Arizona Daily Sun has reported that fall elections cost $2 per voter; special May, mail-in elections, cost $2.50 per voter. That extra $0.50 for 29,409 voters adds up to $14,705. So voters, we ask you: Do we want to spend an extra $14,705 to have fewer people vote in municipal elections?
The Coconino County Democrats urge you to vote Yes on 3, No on 4.