To the Editor
Several articles have been run in the paper over the past week about two individuals objecting to the petitions of individuals running for office.
The objectors have presented examples of procedural errors, some minor, on the candidates forms and so far have had two disqualified with the third case pending. A bit more care by the candidates could have prevented the objections.
Still I am concerned if the objectors have thought of the implications of their actions for electoral democracy when candidates who have taken time to collect signatures and meet citizens are removed from the ballot in uncontested elections.
A write-in candidate could win, with but a handful of votes, perhaps sponsored by a small faction of voters. Is this democratic?
Or if no one runs, the officials already on the boards get to fill the seat.
Between elections when an office holder leaves, appointment of a successor by those on the board is a necessity. But having a board appoint when there is no candidate on the ballot is a sad necessity that belies electoral democracy.
I would ask the objectors why bring about such a situation?
Further will potential candidates in the future decide not to run, fearing that a minor error might kick them off the ballot? Democracy would take a hit.
I really wonder if the objectors, especially for the uncontested seats, recognize the negative implications for democratic participation of their actions. I have not yet figured out their motivations but worry what they might be.