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Voter participation higher with ballots

To the editor:

In SB2 and charter towns, like Peterborough, the voters have spoken. Those who won are tickled and those who lost are disappointed.

But in the big picture the political process worked once again and more to the point, official ballot voting demonstrated the usual 250 to 300 percent increases in voter participation. It seems both charter towns and SB2 towns reflect the same results.

From the beginning voters showed they are better informed when using the ballot and they seem to prefer official ballot voting. Early on there was a fear that the official ballot voting on amendments to zoning would never be doable. Many thought the complicated wording on many zoning amendments on the ballot would overwhelm the voters.

Fact is the voters did read the zoning changes and the town budget, wage negotiation results and acreage changes — takes time, but they did it.

Official ballot voting in Sb2 towns and schools or official ballot voting in charter towns once in use and used five to 10 times seldom are rescinded. How come? We know over 50 communities have sought to rescind official ballot voting and failed. In fact last time I knew three towns had rescinded official ballot voting of the hundreds of towns that switched.

Those of us who got SB2 passed in Concord had one major goal — increase official ballot voting and we sure did that — 200 to 300 percent is not unusual. And the official ballot voter passes some budgets and defeats others. No change, no real shift. Teachers and their spouses generally turn out and make their presence felt. One day RiverMead may also impact the results.

Peterborough saw about 114 voters turn out for town meeting, while 958 used the official ballot. I don’t get to talk much any more but that’s alright, I love the results of the typical 200 to 300 percent increase in voter participation. Democracy in action.

Fran Chapman


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