Kokomo Perspective 03 02 2016 E Edition Page A2

kokomoperspective.com A2 Kokomo Perspective March 2, 2016 County officials raise concerns over vote centers On Wednesday at 4 p.m. the Howard County Election board convenes to potentially give the fi- nal nod to implementing voting centers in the area. However, prior to the meeting county icials raised concerns about the cost of the project along with the chance of hav- ing the system function- ing properly for the elec- tion cycle. During a meeting of the Howard County Council last week, i- cials discussed the pend- ing vote centers. My biggest disap- pointment in this thing was the cost to the coun- ty, said Council Mem- ber Stanley Ortman. Ill tell you right now, I cant support what this com- mittee has come up with, with all these other bud- get cuts. As a councilman Im not looking for other expenses. In addition to the po- tential costs of the elec- tronic voting machines, estimated to be about $500,000, the plan pre- sented during Februarys meeting of the election board showed an in- crease in labor necessary to work the 15 planned voting centers. Four early voting centers will also be manned for eight- and-a-half days prior to Election Day, accruing additional labor costs. In total, the current plan calls for $42,580 to be spent on labor during the election, while under the current precinct voting system $35,000 is needed. In a letter to the elec- tion board, Commission- er President Paul Wyman also expressed support of vote centers, however, he felt certain aspects of the plan needed to be amended. He argued that more modern technology, es- sentially, should lead to savings. Not the oppo- site. As you know the tax- payers of Howard Coun- ty must purchase, at a cost of $500,000, the new voting equipment neces- sary to implement vote centers, said Wyman in his letter. Having made this major expenditure, the taxpayers should not at the same time be asked to increase the cost of conducting elections. Contrarily, after Feb- ruarys public meeting Howard County Clerk Kim Wilson said the ex- tra expenditures relating to labor, for the first year, are meant to counteract the possible problems that may arise from the use of a new system. Election Board Mem- ber Derrick Steele also re- sponded to the idea, say- ing that savings will be garnered through cutting down on wasted ballots. In the 2012 Presi- dential election printing alone cost $77,979, said Steele. Even assum- ing the 60% turnout in the general election (it was only 40% in the pri- mary) there was waste of $31,191 in ballots that had to simply be thrown away. That more than covers the increase to employee salaries. Ad- ditionally, the printing costs will be all but elimi- nated for this election. And unlike pre-printed ballots, any paper for ballots will be able to be used in further elections Dr. Thomas-Miller announces bid for Howard County Auditor Community servant and educational leader looks to bring experi- ence to the position. Dr. Jacquelyn Thomas-Mill- er seeks the position of Howard County Auditor on the democratic ticket. Thomas-Miller previ- ously served as a high school and elementary school administrator for 11 years, following a 19- year teaching career as a special educator. She also has served terms as an adjunct professor for Ivy Tech Community College and Indiana University Kokomo. I look forward to bringing my skill set to the ice, said Thomas- Miller. Over the last few months Ive been explor- ing how to best serve my community. This search has lead me to the Audi- tor's race. After taking a close look at the duties and responsibilities of the ice and the direc- tion I believe it should go, I have come to the conclusion that Im well suited for the job. That is why, with excitement and humility Iicially announce my candidacy for Howard County Au- ditor. She also said she hopes to bring her experience to the position, and be- lieved her history of ser- vice suited the role of county auditor. I am confident that my professional experi- ence and community af- iliations have prepared me for the responsibili- ties of the ice.My pas- sion to be of service to others is what guided me throughout my 30 plus years as an educator and is what compelled me to be active in my commu- nity, she said. Thomas-Miller has a bachelors degree in edu- cation from Jackson State University, a masters de- gree in education from the University of Toledo, and a doctorate in edu- cational leadership from Oakland City University. She has a public school administration certifi- cation through Indiana University Bloomington. Thomas-Miller serves on the board of directors for Indiana Black Expo, Inc., the advisory board for the IN Learning Disabili- ties Association and is an active member of Alpha Mu Omega-Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. in In- dianapolis, and the Com- munity Womens Guild in Kokomo. Costs called into question, with potential to implement prior to election by Devin Zimmerman News Reporter dzimmerman@kokomoperspective.com Thomas-Miller Don't waste your vote As dean of a public affairs school and a pro- fessor of public policy, it goes without saying that I get involved in a lot of political conversations especially during an election year. This year, Ive been talking with colleagues, friends, and students, of course, about the dif- ferent presidential can- didates and one of the recurring questions that crops up is the issue of their viability. Many people like a particular candidate or his (or her) platform, but theyre re- luctant to cast their vote for her (or him) because they dont think that he (or she) is electable. That is, they dont want to waste their vote on someone whos not likely to win. Ive always found this attitude a bit peculiar as though an election were really some sort of contest where the one who makes the most ac- curate predictions some- how wins (sort of like the Oscars). Its this at- titude, I think, that ex- plains in part why third party candidates and outliers in the two major political par- ties routinely fall by the wayside. A candidate is deemed unelectable, a narrative about their unelectability is spun in the media and, inevi- tably, the voters bolt for more viable candidates and hustle their often preferred choices into historys capacious dust- bin. But the notion that a vote is only properly used on a viable candidate is absurd and, frankly, a little cynical. It suggests that voters, to paraphrase Bob Dylan, just want to be on the side thats winning. One of the foundational prin- ciples of democracy, after all, is that of an informed electorate that makes well-reasoned political choices based upon their interests. In other words, at its most fundamental level, a vote is an expres- sion of ones values the candidate voted for ex- presses a combination of ideas, objectives, and personal qualities in which the voter recog- nizes the best possible inity. Now, Im not nave - political scientists going all the way back to Aris- totle know full well that people vote for reasons other than their values. Some people vote in an opposing partys pri- mary to act as spoilers. Other voters are bought offwith patronage rang- ing from free beer to gov- ernment jobs go Google Tammany Hall for a good example. Indeed, any decent history will underscore what an im- perfect system democra- cy ultimately is anytime electoral politics butts up against entrenched inter- ests, the will of the peo- ple risks becoming, well, distorted. Indeed, here a vote for a Tammany politician could be seen as an investment if it landed you, your kid, or a friend a valuable job. But most of us dont have the well-oiled polit- ical connections that turn a vote into a career op- portunity. And because the most that the average voter receives directly is campaign swag post- ers, buttons, maybe a t-shirt, or a quick photo with the candidate as she (or he) is working the crowd patronage is not a calculation in most peo- ples choices for a candi- date. This then begs the question why, if there are no direct rewards for choosing a candidate, do voters align themselves with candidates most likely to win rather than those who may best ex- press their values? Its not as though by choosing the winner, you will sud- denly be offered a lucra- tive post in Washington D.C. or a private dinner at the White House. In other words, whats in it for you for choosing the most viable candidate? If it is simply the desire to say that you voted columnist Michael Harris Vote A6 Centers A3

Previous Page
Next Page