St. Charles Herald-Guide

State should restrict election dates in the future

Our View - July 19, 2006

Unbeknownst to most people in St. Charles Parish, Saturday was election day here.

Thatís right. We were supposed to vote on two issues.

One was to authorize an additional $5.5 million in bonds to finance a patient care tower, emergency department expansion and land acquisition for an assisted living facility at St. Charles Hospital. The other was for a 2.48-mill property tax renewal to finance maintenance and operation of the hospital, emergency and ambulance services.

True, itís summertime and folks are more interested in vacations and weekend trips than in voting on hospital bond and tax issues. But only five percent of the registered citizens of St. Charles voted.

That leaves 95 percent who decided it was not necessary. It is probably an all time record.

There are many types of elections which do not arouse much interest. At least not enough to make the vast majority of people leave their homes and take their time to cast a ballot.

For that reason, the state should set two or three election dates for each year when all local and statewide elections must be held. They could be set at times when people are more likely to get out and vote.

It would make our democracy more representative of the will of the people and at a lot less cost.