Mail-in voting is in full swing. Early voting began Saturday. And we’re less than two weeks away from the general election. If you haven’t made your decisions and already cast ballots, it’s time to get it done.
Islanders will see three questions on their ballots (remember to turn over your ballots).
Question 1 is the expanded right to repair. If you watch any TV at all, you’ve seen the dueling commercials. Opponents are using scare tactics to sway voters, saying that data from your automobile will wind up in the wrong hands. (If this is really a risk, the automakers should spend some of the cash they’ve pumped into this campaign to shield the data from hackers.) Proponents say this is about the big auto companies attempting to control who can and can’t fix your car. For Islanders, it’s especially important that local mechanics be able to fix vehicles. Vote yes on Question 1.
Question 2 is the ranked-choice voting question. Reporter Brian Dowd explains how ranked-choice voting works very well in this story, using an example we can all relate to — favorite foods. This is a fairer method of voting when there are multiple candidates in a race. For example, there were nine Democratic candidates in the race to replace U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III, who ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination for Senate. That race was won by Jake Auchincloss, with 22.4 percent of the vote. Jesse Mermell, the second-place finisher and a progressive candidate, had 21.1 percent. A total of 2,033 votes separated them. Further down the ballot, there were other progressive candidates who likely took votes away from Mermell. Ranked-choice voting might have allowed her to win the tight race, and a majority of the electorate to have a candidate who more closely aligned with their views. Vote yes on Question 2.
Finally, the third ballot question is not as easy a choice. It’s a Dukes County–specific question seeking to change the county treasurer position from elected to appointed. We’re not fans of taking choices out of the hands of voters. For example, last year we opposed the town meeting article to change the Tisbury town clerk from an elected to an appointed position. While there is a very specific skill set needed to be a treasurer, we have faith in the voters to understand that when they make a choice — if there is a choice. We do find it humorous that the four county commissioners who support this measure in a letter published in this edition use the fact that the treasurer’s position has been unopposed for 30 years as a reason to make it appointed. All of the county commissioners are also running unopposed on this year’s ballot.
In her letter, also published in this edition, Noreen Mavro Flanders makes an excellent point, that the treasurer should remain independent because of the position’s role working with other agencies, including the Land Bank and the airport. Vote no on Question 3.