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Many voter-related issues have been in the news. These include ineligible voters, fraudulent registration drives, mobile app problems, identification requirements, casting ballots in more than one jurisdiction and our secretary of state spending $850,000 on a voter registration initiative to ostensibly improve the accuracy of voter rolls.

Amid speculation in previous Garfield County elections, there may have been voters who cast ballots in both Garfield and in another Colorado county or state. I tried to research the criminal acts if such happened. I could find nothing on our secretary of state’s website other than the “subject to the penalties provided by law” self-affirmation on the voter registration.

To delineate the penalties on the form would be a reasonable way to deter fraud. Similarly, spurred by the news that a Maryland Democratic congressional candidate dropped out of the race because she voted twice in two different states, I researched if there were national efforts to ensure accurate voting. The Pew Center for the States report of February 2012, “Inaccurate, Costly and Inefficient,” estimates 24 million “significantly inaccurate or no longer valid” registrations, 1.8 million deceased individuals listed as voters and 2.75 million voters registered in more than one state.



Twenty-one states worked with Pew on the Electronic Registration Information Center. We would be better served if our Secretary of State advocated for a national voter technology effort rather than ferreting out the less than 0.004 percent of Colorado ineligible voters. He believes his critics are “willing to lie” and “play the racism card” with voter registrations, even amid recent allegations of Republican Party-associated efforts of such fraud in Florida, Colorado and Nevada.

Move forward, enough of such tactics and attacks. A model is already in place with commercial driver’s licenses (CDL) where technological methods are in place to ensure drivers are not disqualified or hold CDLs in more than one state.



To highlight the importance of accurate voting, our native son Scott McInnis began his notable political career with a differential of 13 votes in 1982. Every vote counts, hopefully accurately, not more than once and by the living (except corporations).

Greg Jeung

No Name

I believe that Ballot Question 1A deserves support from the citizens of Garfield County for reasons that include:

• It will allow purchase of conservation easements, targeted towards properties that have attributes for the public good.

• It will help us enhance Garfield County’s inventory of open spaces, trails, and parks.

• It’s cost will be low – just an average of $3.25 pr month per family.

• The income from approval of 1A can be leveraged by providing the matching funds required to secure very attractive GOCO grants from the state of Colorado.

• This program will be fairly administered by including representatives from each municipality in Garfield County.

• This program will have very low administrative costs.

• This program will allow a fair and countywide master planning to preserve our scenic treasures and to enable reasonable public access to these treasures.

This program will enable Garfield County to build a lasting legacy for us and the generations to follow. Please vote yes on ballot Question 1A.

Bill Spence

Carbondale

I write in response to Hal Sundin’s column of Oct. 18, “The critical challenge facing voters.”

Mr. Sundin is brilliant and thorough; I trust his opinion except when he has his political blinders on.

He predictably starts by criticizing all of Mitt Romney’s proposals. He calls Romney’s plan to create 12 million jobs unbelievable. Presidents Reagan and Clinton created more, 16 million and 19 million, so it’s hardly unbelievable.

Anticipating Democrat reaction, I’ll point out two facts rarely acknowledged when touting Bill Clinton’s record: One, the effect of Newt Gingrich’s Contract with America that moved millions from welfare to work, and two, the effect of the dot-com bubble on jobs.

Next, Mr. Sundin calls energy independence an unrealistic dream, ignoring the advances in drilling and fracking that now make it possible. Many experts think it’s doable with an administration that is encouraging rather than fighting energy production.

Then he criticizes Romney’s tax-cut proposal claiming it’s like Reagan’s tax-cut trickle-down policy that doubled the deficit. It’s true that the deficit doubled, it’s also true that tax revenue doubled during the Reagan administration. The deficit doubled because of spending increases.

Mr. Sundin acknowledges the $16 trillion debt, and that the Obama administration added almost $6 trillion during the last three years. Mr. Sundin believes it’s our biggest problem. Unfortunately, he then criticizes the Tea Party as war hawks.

Even casual research reveals two facts.

One, the Tea Party’s primary objective is to reduce the deficit. They were fed up with lying politicians and insisted on no new taxes unless spending is controlled. The left claims concern about the national debt, but their only solution is more taxes while supporting new spending increases.

Second, the Tea Party supported Ron Paul because he was adamant about ending the war immediately – hardly war hawks.

In summary, if Hal Sundin and more people were open-minded and looked at President Obama’s record or non-record, they would notice he has never done anything exceptional except get elected. Mitt Romney has an exceptional record in business, the Olympics, and as governor.

As I see it, the critical challenge facing voters and Mr. Sundin is to take their political blinders off.

Roger Hoey

Glenwood Springs

Having voted in every presidential election since voting for Ike 1952, “I didn’t just fall off a turnip truck” as Johnny Carson quipped, denying that he was neither a fool nor a newcomer.

Today, I’m dismayed, namely by media’s penchant for “reporting news by omission” and its superfluous “political jargon.”

Examples appearing in the Post Independent’s Oct. 17 issue are noteworthy. Consider the front page article featuring Bob Rankin and Jo Ann Baxter, then Randy Baumgardner and Emily Tracy, followed by endorsements of Baxter and Tracy in the Opinion section.

First, how can Mr. Rankin be “On the surface … the more appealing candidate,” yet “too far right.” Please define too far right for me. If right wing fosters conservative values, free market economy, limited role of government, and the rule of law with emphasis on individual freedom and self reliance, then exactly when does a right-winger go too far?

Faced with challenges of the economy, jobs, taxes, energy, etc, Mr. Rankin’s experience is unique and will add leadership to the legislature. Former businessmen and entrepreneurs are more qualified to tackle the aforementioned problems than former lawyers and schoolteachers. Endorsements by most business associations across the state make my point.

Voters must consider Mr. Rankin’s in-depth knowledge of all the issues, contrasted with his opponent’s understanding in “education reform, school finance, and the art of compromise” emphasized in the Post Independent’s endorsement.

In Baumgardner vs. Tracy, it’s simply the liberal left (could it be the “too far liberal left”) versus the right-wing conservative. The paper’s endorsement of Ms. Tracy states “she would build coalitions across party lines.” Why does that sound familiar?

Randy Baumgardner has a proven track record – a professional, whom the editorial labeled as “more a follower than a leader.” He will “follow” the wishes of his constituency and, with his proven legislative skills, build on his record.

I support Rankin and Baumgardner. Haven’t we learned that politics is not an amateur sport?

Richard Doran

Parachute

Sometimes it is in the best interest of voters to cross party lines when a special candidate clearly represents the needs and concerns of those voters. For the first time in a long time we are fortunate here in Moffat County to have one our own running for a seat in the state legislature. The winner of the race for House District 57 will be decided in November, and the best candidate for the job is a Moffat County resident. That candidate is Jo Ann Baxter.

Ms. Baxter has lived in Craig for 38 years. She taught school in Moffat County for 29 of those years while raising three children, serving in a variety of local leadership roles, and obtaining a PhD. She went on to become a respected member, and then president, of the Moffat County Board of Education. Ms. Baxter spent six years on the Colorado School Board Association’s Legislative and Resolutions Committee, and was appointed by Gov. Hickenlooper to participate on the State Council for Educator Effectiveness.

If elected, Ms. Baxter will represent the citizens of Garfield, Rio Blanco, and Moffat counties. This is an incredible opportunity for Moffat County residents to have their voices heard in the legislative halls of the Front Range for the first time in over 50 years.

Ms. Baxter understands the importance of a strong educational system and the need for economic development in northwest Colorado. She will work for our best interests, whether we are Democrats or Republicans. We will all benefit if we vote for a candidate who knows and loves northwest Colorado. Let’s send Jo Ann Baxter to Denver to represent House District 57.

David Morris

Craig


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