To The Daily Sun,
People have a right to vote. Although the right to vote isn't written in our Constitution, people are entitled and allowed to vote in this country.
Why would a group of people petition to take away your ease of voting on our town budget? Why would they want you to give up a Saturday to sit in uncomfortable chairs for hours, listening to people repeat and repeat the same old arguments?
Keeping SB-2 and voting at the ballot booth on a Tuesday makes sense for several reasons.
1. It takes minutes instead of hours to vote.
2. You can vote in private without the person sitting next to you knowing how you voted.
3. The homebound elderly or disabled can vote by absentee ballot.
4. People on vacation can vote by absentee ballot.
5. The "snowbirds" who haven't come home yet can vote by absentee ballot.
6. People in the military and away from home can vote by absentee ballot.
Town Meetings are antiquated. There are 2,424 registered voters in Gilmanton. On average, only 100 people show up on a Saturday to vote at Town Meeting. This alone should tell us something. These days our world is moving so fast people can't and don't want to spend an entire day voting. Perhaps people have to work on Saturday just to afford their taxes. They shouldn't have to sit in a room feeling intimidated when they don't support a particular article. Instead they should have the privacy to vote in the ballot booth so they can vote their true feelings.
For several decades I have been one of the 100 people attending the Saturday Town Meetings. I have seen special interest groups phone their friends when it's time to vote for a particular article. The friends show up to vote and then leave. Those people apparently don't want to spend their Saturdays at Town Meeting, either. Yet, these same people are the ones signing the petition to do away with the SB-2 way of voting.
The petitioners will say, "The people are uninformed when they show up at the voting booth." Who are they to say that? Just because people have a different opinion it doesn't mean they are uninformed. A voter will be as informed as they want to be. SB-2 affords voters the opportunity to vote without being present by using the absentee ballot. Why would anyone want to take this right away?
In my opinion this petition in Gilmanton to do away with SB-2 is just a way for the special interest groups to push their agendas and keep the majority from voting with ease. Since SB-2 took effect, the percentage of residents voting on our budget has increased dramatically.
Let's not take a step backward. Let's keep SB-2. Please vote "No" on the articles asking you to do away with SB-2.
- Category: Letters
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