Measure A’s many wrongs

Behind the hype, it’s an anti-democratic power grab

When it comes to voting, are some people more knowledgeable about the candidates and issues than others? Of course they are, but American democracy doesn’t discriminate.

In this country, we don’t require voters to prove they’ve studied the issues or own property or have lived in the same place for many years before allowing them to cast ballots. We assume—and the law insists—that the votes of all citizens who have taken the trouble to register are equally valid.

That’s one reason why Measure A on the June 7 ballot is such a travesty. Because no matter what its backers among the Tea Party Patriots say, it has always been partly about limiting the ability of college students to vote by shifting Chico City Council elections to June, when most students aren’t in town. Student votes are just as worthy as anyone else’s, and to say otherwise is, well, unpatriotic.

That’s not the main reason for the measure, of course. Occasionally, in rare moments of honesty, the Yes on Measure A spokeswoman, Stephanie Taber, acknowledges that its real purpose is “to elect fiscal conservatives to the council.” She’s knows that low-turnout June elections favor conservatives, while the high-turnout November elections favor liberals.

In other words, Measure A’s backers want to trade November’s robust democracy for June’s significantly weaker democracy in order to elect more conservatives. That isn’t very patriotic, either.

Behind the hype, Measure A is all about politics. It’s an anti-democratic power grab sponsored by a posse of hypocritical so-called “patriots” and should be defeated on June 7.