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Citizen Commentary:  Municipal elections matter and citizens have a duty to MAKE them partisan

“To suggest that freedom of expression regarding the election ends at the town border, is in fact, un-American”.

Lisa Biemer Escaffi

Dear Editor: 

There are many voices that emerge during election years that suggest, in error, that unless you’re a resident of one of the county municipalities, the current election is none of your concern. These individuals also push the false premise that municipal elections are somehow nonpolitical since no party affiliation is listed by candidates’ names on the ballot (even though candidates must indicate a party affiliation when registering to vote and run for office). 

We should reject these premises because they are disingenuous by design, and in fact quite dangerous.  

Regardless of whether one is a resident of a municipality it is essential to remember that each town receives state and county tax dollars into its coffers. Because of that we taxpayers have not only the right, but the responsibility, the duty, to engage in the election process.

Further, because it is an election where voter registration is required, that reinforces the point that this is a part of the political process and cannot be detached from it.

 Beyond supporting municipalities with our county and state tax dollars, many of us work within city limits and therefore care about their successes and failures. The county’s sole hospital sits within Westminster, the county seat, as do major employers like the Board of Education and Penguin Random House. Each town also houses law enforcement agencies and backing the blue is essential to community safety. Our friends, schools, favorite businesses, restaurants and even parks lie within many municipal boundaries. To suggest that freedom of expression regarding the election ends at the town border, is in fact, un-American. 

As informed citizen activists, one of our key responsibilities is to educate voters on the roles and responsibilities of good government and help hold elected officials accountable through a fair voting process. Those are constitutional rights which don’t stop at the city line.

~~Lisa Biemer Escaffi

Links to individual the eight municipal webpages and election information below:

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