Mar 20, 2011 7:07 PM by Matt Stafford

Ballot Issue 1A confusing to some

You may have already received your mail-in ballot. Along with choosing a Mayor and City Council, Colorado Springs ballots have two questions. One of them caught a local woman off-guard.

"I opened it up and read it," says Mary Taggart, a concerned voter; but she had to read Issue 1-A, about the City Council districts, a few times. "And I still couldn't understand it."

This isn't Taggart's first time at the ballot box, or mailing a ballot in the case of this election; friends and family didn't understand it either, so she called News First 5 for clarification.

"The voters deserve more than that, they deserve better than that," Taggart says.

NF5 had Colorado College Political Science professor Bob Loevy take a look at it.

"I agree with the woman who phoned in and complained, that's a sentence only a lawyer could love," Loevy said while reading through the question. When those lawyers get a hold of it, that's how he says we get confusing ballot questions.

Loevy says you just need to know what you're looking for.

"People who draw ballot titles also want to make that first sentence one that will get people to vote for it," Loevy explains. "It's the remainder of it that gets complicated."

Loevy says this one is a lot simpler than it appears. As we move to a strong-Mayor form of government, Issue 1A is designed to allow for more district representatives on City Council.

"We currently have four district and five at-large (City Council members), if this passes we'll have six district and three at-large," explains Loevy.

Taggart wishes the city could have made it that easy for everyone.

"It's something that needs to be worded in such a way that people know what it says, so we're voting the right way," Taggart says.

If you would like to see Issue 1A or anything else on the April ballot, click on this link.


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