Election concerns | Letter

We have a concern on an election habit, especially one that impacts our island. We pride ourselves on the natural beauty of this place and are rejoicing the recent awarding of monument status which lends protection to the natural environment of some areas. However, we then despoil the place with a multitude of yard signs. The signs are a visual blight which are present over a month and some often remain, as many people don’t bother to remove them.

The founders of the nation believed that for a Democratic system to function a majority of the citizens be literate. That literacy is important for the people to better inform themselves of the issues and so vote accordingly. Talk to any politician and they will tell you their busiest times are the weeks prior to an election and a big part of their campaign are yard signs. The signs provide a short-cut for being informed. As a former poll worker I am aware one can leave ballot items blank and I often do so if I don’t know about a particular issue/person. Most of us don’t know this, or won’t, and yard signs become a mechanism for getting our vote. I see this as an erosion of the Democratic system (advertising works) and polarizing. The school bond issue is a case in point. Even though we find the numbers excessive and misleading, the sheer numbers of pro bond signs give us pause. Fortunately, we know better and understand that for the system to work we must all actively participate. We see yard signs as passive participation and ugly.

Jack Pedigo

Parvin Baharloo

Lopez Island