I hope The Enterprise will indulge me with a response to Freddie Oakley’s criticisms of my Forum article about the Measure I election process. Oakley makes several statements about my findings that call, at a minimum, for clarification.
My first suggestion is that readers compare both articles (available in print and on The Enterprise’s website) and then decide whose conclusions are based on election data vs. who is speculating. Yes, I was an opponent of Measure I, which I acknowledged. This was not the reason for my article, but I admit that it shows in my writing.
My greatest concern is the misinterpretation by Oakley of recommendations for earlier mailing of the voter guide (aka “sample ballot”). I simply suggest that mail ballots be sent either a week after the voter guides or after the voter guides actually arrive.
In both cases, this presumes continued use of bulk mail for the voter guide, and would fall well within the time limits cited by Oakley, without any additional cost. I also did not admit that the effect of “differential postal delivery schedules” is mitigated by traditional vote-at-the-polls elections.
My point here is simply that the effect is reduced, but still exists and is getting worse as more people use vote-by-mail ballots. And I not only “assert” that I complained before about late arrival of voter guides, I state this as a fact.
Finally, I welcome Oakley’s discussions and support for a study of variables affecting all-mailed-ballot elections. I only hope that we do not delay solving obvious problems while studying them.