A Flathead citizens group this week released their analysis of an official county survey to decide who will control zoning in the outskirts of the city of Whitefish – the city, or the county. It’s not good.
After the election switched control of the Whitefish City Council from conservative to progressive, the bigwigs on the Flathead County Commission (all Republicans) announced that the results of an official county government survey put them in charge of the outskirts of the city of Whitefish, not the city council:
“This points us in the direction to go,” Flathead County Commissioner Jim Dupont told the [Whitefish] Pilot. “The doughnut residents have spoken about what they want.”
The official government survey results came out in favor of the Republican County Commissioners by a 3-1 margin. Problem is, the county didn’t survey the “residents.” Rather, they only asked certain people. Oh, and also some corporations. They asked those who owned property in the area–some of whom didn’t actually reside in the area at all. Some people got multiple votes. If you resided in the area, but didn’t make enough to own property, well, you weren’t allowed to voice your opinion. According to a citizens group who analyzed the survey results, “less than half, 47%, of the survey cards mailed out went to people who actually live in the two-mile area around Whitefish, while another 53% went to people who don’t even live in Whitefish.”
How did the Republicans do this? If you don’t call it an election, you don’t have to follow those silly election laws. Because some people hate our freedom, you know. And if we had allowed the democratic process to move forward by actually giving all residents equal voice, the freedom haters would have won! Or so must have gone the sane and rational thought process of these Republicans. It all makes so much sense, I think my head might explode.
Citizens for a Better Flathead compiled some fun facts about some of the more unique aspects of this alternative to voting.
Some individuals received multiple ballots simply because their address had been spelled two different ways in the county’s list. For example, a person whose address includes the word “Highway” would have received two surveys, one to a “Highway” address and one to a “Hwy” address. Some 185 different corporations got at least one vote and many multiple votes.
So this is an exciting new electoral implementation of the Republican view that corporations are obviously people.
The citizens made a chart that detailed
who got to vote in this election who received the survey and also noted some interesting data from the Flathead County Elections Office:
|Registered voters in the two-mile area around the City of Whitefish in 2010, according to the County Elections Office
|Total surveys sent, according to Flathead County
|Total # of addresses receiving multiple surveys
|Greatest # of surveys for one address
|# of addresses that received 3 or more opportunities to vote
|# of couples who received only one ballot
||Many—not yet counted but estimated as high as 1/4 of list
|# of corporations that got one or more votes
|# of surveys sent to Whitefish addresses
|# of surveys sent to other Montana addresses
|# of surveys sent to out-of-state addresses in the USA
|# of surveys sent to out-of-country addresses
Unfortunately, the irregularities don’t stop there, the citizens inconveniently point out:
The county says they mailed out 3235 “surveys,” but the receipt from the business that did the mailing doesn’t match that total. The mailing service includes a record for 3,080 post cards…168 more postcards than the county reports were mailed. Additionally, an unidentified county mailing of 100 pieces was sent out of the country on October 21, 2011…One address received 58 [surveys] and another received 39 survey cards to vote with.
Anyway, the Republicans are very pleased that the survey turned out the desired results, so it should be counted as a total success. I predict some lucrative consulting opportunities in Zimbabwe are about to open up for these county commissioners, as the entire enterprise was a great proving ground for techniques that could certainly be used elsewhere. They should get in touch with Republican PSC Commissioner Brad Molnar to find out how he started his consulting work in Moldova or whatever.