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How Not To Vote

May 1, 2014

We’ve heard a lot of chatter recently over the upcoming June 3 election.

 

We enjoy hearing healthy debates and conversations about which candidate is better suited for the job, be it a seat on the Mono County Board of Supervisors, the Mono County Sheriff and county assessor, or the Mammoth Lakes Town Council.

 

The chatter pleases us, for the most part. It’s nice to know we live in a community with residents who care about and participate in elections.

 

Some of the chatter, however, is in dire need of some schooling.

 

For example, we recently heard a citizen say she would vote for only one candidate for town council, even though there are three open seats and she is thus allowed three votes for three candidates.

 

Why would anyone do that?

 

Others are saying they are voting solely based off of a single issue—most notably the single family rental issue or the formation of the newest NGO (non-governmental organization), Mammoth Lakes Recreation, on the town level, and budget balancing and preserving public lands on the county level.

 

We overheard another businessman say he would vote for two males and one female to “balance out the council.”

 

Our favorite comment came from a local businessman when he said he would not vote for a certain Mammoth Lakes Town Council candidate because he knew this candidate “was going to win.”

 

How does that make sense? Seriously, we don’t get it.

 

We were appalled to hear such comments.

 

We don’t understand the logic in any of these situations—and that’s because there isn’t any.

 

The upcoming election is a critical election. There are three open seats on the town council with no incumbents running.

 

There are two open seats on the board of supervisors, with no incumbents in the District 5 race.

 

We have a county assessor’s seat and a county sheriff’s seat with all of the candidates campaigning for the first time (the current sheriff and assessor were both appointed to their positions).

 

The only race with an incumbent (Larry Johnston for District 1) is a rematch against Bill Sauser, who ran in the same race four years ago and only lost by five votes. Sauser said he’d heard that at least one person did not vote for him because he’d rather see Sauser stay with the Mammoth Lakes Recreation Commission.

 

We’d like to see our fellow Mono County citizens vote for candidates who they think will best represent the interest of their constituents.

 

You should not vote for a person based on his or her sex.

 

You should not vote for a person based on of a single issue.

 

You should not vote for a person because you feel bad that they won’t get a lot of votes.

 

This is not a popularity contest. The people elected to these positions are responsible for shaping the future of Mono County and the Town of Mammoth Lakes.

 

We encourage residents to vote for the best-qualified candidate in each race.

 

This doesn’t mean that the candidate will have the answer to everything. 

 

No single person has the answer to everything.

 

We are looking for candidates who will listen to constituents, who will engage in thoughtful discussion before making decisions, and who will ask hard questions and be confident enough to make even harder decisions.

 

We are looking for candidates who have the best interest for the future of Mono County and Mammoth Lakes as their foremost thought, regardless of sex or a single issue.

 

We hope our fellow voters do the same.

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