Whether to go to the polls is the question voters will answer Tuesday
when Measure M -- which asks if the city should change to by-mail
elections -- appears on the ballot.
“The reason it’s on the ballot is because there was the biggest
voter turnout ever when we had mail-in ballots,” Vice Mayor Stacey
Murphy said of Measure M, which will go into effect only if approved
by the City Council, as well as voters.
The October 2001 all-mail special election drew response from 35%
of registered voters. However, the vote was for Measure A, an
initiative to limit airport noise and traffic, that was an issue of
widespread community concern.
Not everyone is convinced the change would be for the better.
“If you look at what’s happened, most people cast their [mail-in]
ballots the first week they get them,” Burbank resident Tom Kaptain
said. “They don’t pay attention to the issues.”
Kaptain wrote the argument against the measure that appears in the
sample ballot. He is not alone in his concerns about the proposed
“The pitfalls, I think, are numerous,” said Douglas Cremer,
Woodbury University professor of history and interdisciplinary
studies. “Parents of young children will bring them to polls so they
can see the process of voting.”
Going through their own neighborhood to get to a public polling
place takes people away from thinking only of their own needs, but
thinking of the broader needs of the community, Cremer said.
If approved, the next all-mail election would be in 2005.