Archive for Wednesday, November 9, 2005

Letter to the editor: Voter apathy

November 9, 2005

To the editor:

Against all predictions and forecasts, it failed. Nearly everyone was shocked and amazed that the USD 458 bond proposal fell short. Informal polling and opinion sampling indicated widespread support for the measure throughout the district. Even those opposed predicted passage. How could it have failed?

In most quarters, it was generally agreed that the bond issue addressed the heart of any school district's responsibilities: Classrooms and academics. Additionally, few would argue with the observation that under the focused leadership of Superintendent Jill Hackett, the district is moving in the right direction. Especially noteworthy has been the dramatic rise in student test scores under Hackett's direction. These and other successes stand in sharp contrast to the fate of the failed bond issue.

Almost certainly, the USD 458 bond issue failed because approximately three-quarters of the district's registered voters declined to exercise a right that others have thought worth dying for. Children deserve better than a 75 percent rate of apathy. Patrons of the district ought to be ashamed of this local blemish on basic liberty. The strength of democracy depends on the participation of its citizens. The only vote that doesn't count is the one that was never cast.

Jeff Coatney,

Linwood.

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