Monday, February 02, 2009

Fairfax County's Phantom Special Election

Tomorrow, Fairfax County has a "special" election for the position of Chairperson of the County Board of Supervisors.


This is the kind of "special" election that should never occur. It's a waste of time and money, and an imposition on voters.

Democracy is a terrific thing, but voters shouldn't have to go to the polls for a piddly vote in a single race that is practically meaningless. In Virginia, voters already have a general election EVERY year (because we do state offices in "off" years, i.e., in years with no federal election). That often means voting twice a year when you add in primaries. That should be plenty of democracy for just about everyone.

Turnout tomorrow will be miniscule, especially if it snows as some forecasters are predicting. Indeed, County Democrats are concerned that a Republican could win the race notwithstanding Fairfax's overwhelmingly Democratic electorate.

We're not sure why Fairfax has an elected chairperson--in most counties, the Board selects its chairperson, rather than voters, which makes a lot of sense. Given that, the County could easily change its law to say that an interim chairperson will serve--based on selection by the Board--until the next general election, thereby obviating such a limited special election.

Our lawmakers owe it to voters to not abuse the democratic process. Voting takes time and can be a hassle for people trying to commute to work, gets the kids to school and get on with their hectic lives. Requiring a special election for such a limited purpose is a violation of the public's trust.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I voted. #138 at about 9ish in my precinct. I'm a big D, but the car next to me still had the McCain Palin sticker proudly displayed.