There is so much wrong with the election plan City Clerk Sharon Coll proposed and City Council just approved (as reported in the RDR).
Coll did not mention moving our elections to the state dates will save the city a lot of money. Thank you, Councilor Foster, for bringing that to light. Eliminating the polling place at the Boys & Girls Club, therefore, does not save Roswell any money.
She also said the change is complicated, but it’s a simplification. Change at work is never easy — stop complaining and save us money.
The proposal eliminates the easy voting place for the Chihuahuita voters. Along with councilors Best and Grant suggesting the ENMU-R polling place on the Base should also close, I see an effort to rob our poorest citizens of their right to vote. At least the Base location will remain open.
I stay closely connected to happenings in Roswell, but I did not know you could ride the bus free to any polling place. … The city has not made much effort to spread that word.
There has been no newspaper ad, no billboard, no traditional advertising.
Councilor Best suggests more social media advertising. She doesn’t seem to know that our poorest citizens have limited access at best to social media. Their phones have limited data, if any. …
Many people are leaving Facebook (I suspect that’s the social media she means) since the discovery personal information is being sold to anyone with two nickels to rub together.
How about ads on the sides of the buses? …
The city uses churches extensively as polling sites. I understand that’s because the churches do not charge for the sites and do not charge the city for the electricity usage. That’s nice.
But if the city won’t have to pay for elections under the new law, I suggest using public buildings like schools as polling sites. Let’s get even the semblance of religion out of our elections. Also, schools are accessible to everyone.
We need a City Clerk and a City Council that supports the right to vote of all citizens. With the comments at this Council meeting, it doesn’t sound like we have that. Closing polling places in the poorest parts of town, avoiding advertising free rides to the polls, expecting everyone to learn about city events the same way, add up to voter suppression. We’re better than that.