Monday, April 23 , 2018, 2:27 pm | Mostly Cloudy 61º


Letter to the Editor: Ballot Language Flawed for Measures W, X

I was blown away to see the amateurish, slanted, partisan wording for Measures W and X on my mail-in ballot that just arrived!

For the record, I support both measures. But the official language was a cheesy campaign document, not “real” ballot language.

The first sentence starts off, “To offset severe budget cuts … .” Come on, guys! You don’t use judgmental words such as “severe” on a ballot.

It continues: “… enhance secondary math … .” Guys, you don’t use predictive, outcome-based words such as “enhance” on a ballot, either. You’re asking to add funds. You expect it will enhance stuff, but you don’t vote on enhancing. You vote on funding.

There is more: “… protect secondary class size … .” It’s another example of predictive, outcome-based words in the use of “protect.” You maintain it. To protect it sounds like you’re reading from Grimm’s Fairy Tales.

Finally, there is: ” ... with every dollar staying in our local schools.” Even ignoring the possessive participial grammar error (it should read with every dollar’s staying), the statement is ludicrous on its face.

How can you buy more pencils and keep the dollars here if there are no local pencil factories? What is meant is that no funds are sent to other governmental entities. That’s vital, and needs to be part of these propositions, but that way of saying it sounds like a third-grader wrote it.

I hate it when my adversaries act cheap and sleazy, but I doubly hate it when my fellow travelers do it!

Come on, guys — grow up! If you literally don’t know how to write neutral ballot language, then hire someone who does.

Election officials should not take sides, even when they’re on my side. I expect nothing less than absolute impartiality in ballot language. It’s what democracy is all about.

Wayne Norris
Santa Barbara

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