Downtown Salida, CO

More Ballot Language Shenanigans

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Earlier this year, Colorado Springs’ former City Council placed an initiative on the ballot that would have increased their pay from $6,250 to $48,000.  That measure was soundly defeated, with 80% of voters rejecting it.  I wrote a blog in March, detailing why I thought the ballot language was intentionally deceptive.  The creators of the ballot language did their best to hide from voters the fact that there would be such a huge jump in pay.

Now the politicians are at it again, this time in Salida, CO.  In this case, the Salida Hospital Board is asking the voters to remove their term limits.  They are currently able to serve two four-year terms in this special district.  They are then able to run again after being off the board for 8 years.  If the voters determine it is best for their community to eliminate term limits altogether, that is their choice.  What I object to, again, is the ballot language.

I’m not sure who precisely drafted the ballot language, but the Salida Hospital Board had to approve it.  And this language serves the interest of the board members.

I won’t go as far as calling the Salida ballot language intentionally deceptive, but I will call it intentionally manipulative.  The ballot language states:

“So that the voters of the Salida Hospital District may decide who will best serve them on the Board of Directors, shall the term limits imposed by Article XVIII, Section II, of the Colorado Constitution, be eliminated for the directors of the Salida Hospital District?”

You can see for yourself by looking at the sample ballot.   The real ballot question should be everything after the first comma, starting with the word “shall”.  Everything before the first comma intends to manipulate the voter into eliminating term limits.  First, they are implying that the only way for voters to decide who will best serve them is to eliminate term limits.  Second, they are leading the voter to a yes vote.  Who wouldn’t want to decide who would best serve them on the Hospital Board?  This is clearly a manipulation.

Is there a reason the board had to add editorial commentary to the ballot language?  They act as if they know better than the voter which way this issue should be decided.

If you want more details about the ballot issue, read this informative opinion piece by a Salida resident.

Elected officials, the voters are not uneducated peasants.  You serve us, not the other way around.  Please stop trying to trick us.  We are getting tired of it.

This Post Has One Comment
  1. Thank you for pointing this out! I also dislike how the term limits are in effect “hidden” in Article XVIII, Section II, of the Colorado Constitution. I haven’t memorized it (yet) nor take a copy to the polling booth. Let’s face it, A majority of Colorado voters are probably not even aware that there is a Colorado Constituion. We have a lot of work to do.

    Misleading and manipulative is the new status quo. Knock it off.

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