Is election process open and fair?

This is in response to Harutiun Kassakhian's May 15 letter, "Voting process did not leave anyone out," responding to my letter printed May 4. He's from New Mexico, brother to Ardy Kassakhian, city clerk. The letter was a spirited defense of the city clerk's office.

For the record, I titled my letter, "Did the city clerk disenfranchise City Council candidates? The City Council race was decided by 57,251 votes cast. There were 14,193 votes, or 19.86% of the total pool of eligible ballot votes, that were not cast. How were candidates impaired by these unaccounted votes, who did not have the power of incumbency?

It was the GNP that changed the title of my letter to, "Ballot may have marginalized voters." That may have cause readers to misconstrue the letter. Although I do believe that some voters may have been marginalized, this was a secondary concern. Kassakhian's article defended the right of the voter to vote for just one candidate that by voting for all three open seats may have precluded their favorite candidate from winning a plurality of the votes.

We live in a democracy. It is inappropriate for the city clerk to support this type of activity. It sets a bad precedent and should not be condoned or encouraged. What does this say about the incumbents who pushed for this type of behavior? The election should not be about cut-throat competition, to win at all cost, for a seat that pays only $20,000 annually. What was this election really about? This will only discourage other competent candidates from running in the future. The response only raises questions whether the election process was really open and fair.

Kenneth Landon



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