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District voting is okay in principle

By Chris Boyce
Posted Tuesday, October 24, 2006

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Pittsboro, NC - For me, district voting is okay in principle, but I'm against the current push in that direction and therefore am throwing my support behind the existing county wide system. This effort to change to district voting is a clear attempt to disenfranchise voters concentrated in the eastern half of the county.

One need go no further than the brochure for the "Association to Defend Chatham's Heritage", which states something to the effect of "don't let the north and northeast control Chatham County". What heritage this group seeks to defend must be something abstract, because it surely isn't Chatham's landscape and history that it seeks to protect, for the unfettered growth supported by the people behind this organization is quite literally destroying Chatham's heritage.

But back to the point, if the people behind district voting had fair intentions, they would have at least made the Chairman seat at-large, since this is what is often done elsewhere with district voting. For that matter, there could have been multiple at-large seats in addition to the proposed district seats. At large seats are a check against the political corruption that so often thrives among politicians who live in "safe" districts. A combination of district and at-large seats gives people from specific regions of the county a say on issues unique to them while still allowing for the majority to rule on county wide issues.

Of course, none of this was proposed.

Why would it, if the objective is power rather than fairness. For now, I'm behind county wide voting, because the people behind the change to district voting are reflecting all the wrong reasons for going that route.

Perhaps the issue can be revisited later, but not now and not this way.

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