Civic Leaders of Utah County, Civic Responsibility, Economics, Education, Local Issues

A Pitifully Light vote

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Voters in the Alpine District in the north part of Utah County gave one-sided approval to a $12 million building bond issue in Tuesday’s special election. The ratio in favor was about 5 to 1. Obviously the growing district needs the school expansion program projected in the years ahead as the bond money becomes available.

Alpine School District has a current school population of around 20,000 students and the district contains roughly half of the population of the county. The only sour note in Tuesday’s election was the exceedingly poor turnout. Only 2806 votes were cast in favor of the school building and improvement bond, while 539 voted against. And the total vote represented only about 8.5 per cent of the citizens eligible to vote, according to estimates.

For the citizenry of Alpine District to entrust the decision to 8.5 per cent of the people demonstrates a shameful lack of interest a lackadaisical voter attitude not in keeping with the true spirit in an American democracy.

Interest in this type of election being apathetic as it is, the school bond election was consigned to a light vote when the board decided on a special election separate from the regular municipal vote. As the Herald pointed out earlier, a far heavier and representative vote could have been achieved had the bond election been tied in with the municipal elections Nov. 4.

We realize that bonding houses and school boards often feel the smaller the vote the better chance for passage. This may or may not be true, depending upon the worthiness of the project and how well the school district does in its educational program. Be that as it may, we feel that when there’s a regular election being held less than three weeks distant, there’s a great deal of merit in the idea of combining the balloting. At least the decision would be made by a representative number of the district’s voters and not a mere 8.5 per cent.

So They Say. . .”The central contradiction of the conservative ideology is a consistent tendency to criticize concentrated political power without worrying a bit about concentrated economic power — power that is concentrated in close collusion with state power every step of the way.” -Karl Hess, former speech writer for Sen. Barrv Goldwater.