Letter: Voters need solid, impartial information

Graphic by Lori Deaton

I was disappointed to find very little information on the six ballot questions facing North Carolina voters in the last midterm election. Nothing in the Mountain Xpress voter guides and no informational resources available at the polls, aside from the partisan volunteers soliciting just outside.

These questions [stood] to amend the state constitution and can have long-reaching, often unintended results. If voters are going to be asked to make informed decisions on important matters, it is incumbent on state and election authorities to make solid, neutral information readily available.

In other states, voters are provided with considerable impartial resources in the form of voter information guides by local county registrars and election departments. If the State Board of Elections doesn’t want to do its job by compiling the information that voters require to make informed choices, then why can’t our local Buncombe County election department step up and do their citizenry a solid?

We are always asking people to vote and do their the civic duty — the integrity of our democracy might actually depend on it. The least that the taxpayer-funded, nonpartisan authorities in charge of this stuff can do is provide us the information we need to do our job as citizens.

— Chris Callaway
Old Fort

Editor’s note: Callaway reports that he recently moved from Asheville to Old Fort.

Regarding Xpress’ coverage, we published an article on the amendments in our Oct. 17 issue (avl.mx/5fg), though there wasn’t room to include it in the voter guide issues.

Xpress also contacted Buncombe County Election Services Director Trena Parker Velez, who provided the following response to the points relating to her department: “North Carolina’s county Boards of Elections were provided with descriptions of the constitutional amendments by the N.C. State Board of Elections. County Boards of Elections were instructed to provide these explanations to anyone who requested them from our offices. These explanations were made available as described at the Buncombe County Board of Elections office, and were also posted on our website. The North Carolina State Board of Elections also provided these explanations in the North Carolina Judicial Voter Guide, which was mailed to every voter before the election. Election officials at voting sites were not to provide additional information.”


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Letters
We want to hear from you! Send your letters and commentary to letters@mountainx.com

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

One thought on “Letter: Voters need solid, impartial information

  1. Richard B.

    Seems that Chris’ move to Old Fort caused the info flyer referenced above to not arrive at the new residence.

    What we received in the mail from the NC Board of Elections was quite helpful, and probably would have sufficed for Chris’ needs.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.