Opinion: Did online voting doom the effort to create a skid row neighborhood council?

People line up to vote on the corner of 5th and San Julian streets in the skid row neighborhood of Los Angeles.
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)
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To the editor: As a member of the Echo Park Neighborhood Council, I am concerned about the results of the vote to consider a separate neighborhood council for skid row. (“In narrow election, downtown votes against creating neighborhood council for skid row,” April 7)

The tally of votes cast by paper ballot was 183-19 in favor of establishing a council, in which residents could have a degree of self-determination and autonomy in the decision- making about their own community.

But by using online voting, the opposite result was reached, with a tally of 807-581 against the creation of a separate skid row neighborhood council. Does it occur to anyone that homeless people may not have Web access or even the knowledge or training to use the internet?


I would guess that downtown’s more well-off stakeholders who have easy access to the Internet, including wealthy developers, accounted for many of those 807 votes. It’s just wrong to disenfranchise people based on their internet access.

Cheryl Ortega, Los Angeles

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