This is in response to a quote by Bryan Freeborn from the article “Let Asheville Vote Enters Homestretch” by Jon Elliston [July 5].
Apparently Freeborn said: “I don’t think that there really is overwhelming opposition to [partisan voting].” The article says that Mr. Freeborn believes that LAV’s drive is built more on hype than genuine opposition to partisan elections.
I would like to assure Mr. Freeborn that the opposition to this decision is not hype. Every single person that I have spoken to about this issue thinks it was a stupid thing to do. I have not heard one single person defend partisan elections. Not one. I’m quite sure they exist; I’m just saying that I have yet to meet one. I have also read and heard that people are saying the folks who oppose this idea are all Republicans. Wrong again. Very, very wrong.
I have heard that having an “R” or “D” makes it easier for voters to decide who to vote for. All four of you [who voted for the change] got elected, right? So what was the problem then? How about [letting] people continue to find out the issues and vote based on the merits of an individual candidate? If they really care enough to cast a vote, then they can care enough to read a newspaper and find out how candidates feel about the topics.
Another comment I heard from someone was: “If a candidate can’t get 2,000 signatures, they don’t stand a chance of winning anyway.” What unbelievable arrogance. I really don’t think that is the point. The point is, everyone should get a fair chance to run, and equal treatment.
Personally, I believe the two-party system is, in general, a shameful control mechanism designed to limit our choices and ensure that elections are accessible only to the candidates approved by the ruling elite. This may not be as obvious or extreme on the local level, but we should still reject it on principle. Besides that, it is getting harder and harder for me to tell the difference between Democrats and Republicans these days. Sorry, but it is.
I voted for all four of you, and I’m so angry about this, I wish I could take those votes away. I guess you were right about one thing—voting for partisan elections has definitely helped me decide who I will not vote for next time around.
— Jarrett Leone