Scott Wedel: Oak Creek’s voter turnout
April 10, 2004
Your Oak Creek post-election coverage and editorial are disconnected from the truth.
Oak Creek’s 45 percent turnout is mentioned as part of an article on low turnout. Forty-five percent turnout is close to the national average for a presidential election and was just slightly lower than the two Colorado towns with the highest turnout in Tuesday’s elections. Oak Creek should have been mentioned as a town with a high turnout.
Second, for the newspaper’s editorial to say Oak Creek suffered from an unfortunate campaign focuses upon the campaign of Bill Norris and Reta McNutt while ignoring the campaigns of the other candidates. The incident at the event to meet Norris and McNutt revealed their personal animosity to the other candidates. This tone also was present in much of their campaign literature. I am not aware of any incidents or fliers from any of the other candidates indicating they had similar feelings.
Mayor Kathy “Cargo” Rodeman’s campaign flier was a three-page list of her accomplishments. The “Vote Spike” flier did not contain any personal animosity toward any other candidates.
The election results indicate the town’s voters rejected the campaigns of Norris, who received less than 25 percent of the vote for mayor and McNutt, who finished dead last among the seven candidates for Town Board. Thus, a more insightful editorial would have praised the town’s voters for having a relatively high turnout and for rejecting the politics of personal animosity.
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