This is Why We Need Even-Year Elections
By Andrew Richter
So the people of Golden Valley spoke last Tuesday right? Well, not exactly….so few people came out to vote it’s hard to know if the people are really being represented.
For example, consider this;
Appointed councilman Steve Schmidgall got 1772 votes and his challenger John Giese received 1456 and there were 26 write ins. That means 3258 people came out to vote.
Only one problem with that; according to the Secretary of State’s web page there were 14450 eligible voters in Golden Valley as of last Tuesday. That means 22.5% of the population came out to vote. So Schmidgall was elected (or re-elected) with only 12.3% of the eligible vote.
The news is worse for the two union-backed DFL endorsed winners; Larry Fonnest and Andy Snope. The two got 1109 and 1346 respectively, or 7.7% and 9.3% of the eligible vote. Quite frankly, that’s pathetic.
The point here is that if only 22% of the people come out to vote, how can we know or say that these folks really represent Golden Valley?
Now, some will accuse me of having sour grapes because I don’t like the people who won. And, while it is true that Snope and Fonnest are just going to be DFL light rail rubber stamps, the real problem is the process of electing people in odd years when people aren’t paying attention.
Even year elections are a win/win. The city saves election costs and more people participate in the process. Come on Golden Valley make this change!!