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Resolve Voting Process

Editorial for May 29, 2008

As of May 22, the Husum-BZ Corner Community Council has not yet announced any official plans to resolve the council's suspended election process.

In November 2007, two council seats were open and were slated to be decided by voters in the Husum-BZ Corner area. However, that election was suspended due to the council's legitimate concerns about precisely where the Husum-BZ Corner council's revised boundaries were. The council has also sought a list of registered voters living within the boundaries from the Klickitat County Auditor's Office.

A big part of the problem with the election process came about because the county went to all-mail elections. Previously, the community councils conducted their voting for open council seats when voters came in to cast their general election ballots. With no more polling places, the various community councils had to find new ways to get their voters to cast ballots in these races.

However, the Husum-BZ council election was supposed to take place last November; now it is nearly June. The two incumbent Husum-BZ Community Council members who were up for re-election last November have simply retained their positions, and the right of voters to have their say on who their community representatives will be has been sidestepped for the past seven months. That's too long to let this go.

Further, a challenger -- who followed the council's bylaws and filed to run for a council seat -- has been left in limbo, without even a date in sight for when the election might be.

The council needs to come up with a way to finally fix this. People within the district who want to run for council seats must be given an opportunity to do so, and then the voters within the community council's jurisdiction deserve can have their say via the ballot box.

Going forward, the Husum-BZ Corner council should consider suspending long-range planning -- including further action on the comprehensive plan/rezoning effort -- until the elections are held. Local citizens need to be able to decide, one way or another, who they want to represent them during any upcoming planning efforts.

JB

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