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Voters weigh in on Measure M

Laura Sturza

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.

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“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.

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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.”

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Kaptain wrote the argument against the measure that appears in the

sample ballot. He is not alone in his concerns about the proposed

change.

“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

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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.


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