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In defense of 'lizard men' and their ilk

May 12, 2010 - Deb Gau
Every once in a while when covering public meetings, there will be an item of business that truly makes me go "Whaa?" Most people's guess for that moment at last night's Marshall city council meeting would probably be the ongoing highway construction madness, but it was actually the proposed write-in vote amendment that got me.

If it had actually made it into the city charter, the amendment would have required you to request the city count your votes if you were seeking office through write-in votes. Otherwise, write-ins wouldn't be counted. That idea would work fine for candidates who mount write-in campaigns, but I'd have to share council member Jennie Hulsizer's concern that such a policy would silence the voters who write in their own candidate choices. What's the point of even having a write-in option if that candidate would have to have advance approval from the city? And if you have to request in advance to have write-ins counted, what would be the point of putting uncontested candidates on the ballot? Something about that just doesn't seem right.

I'm glad Hulsizer spoke up before I did, and helped the proposal die. It may be a pain to have to count votes for frivolous write-ins or people who don't want the office anyway, but it's more important to have the option to vote for whoever you want in a municipal election.


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