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Newtown's Need To Develop Senior Voting Participation



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To the Editor:

The recent poor voter turnout (17 percent) in the last referendum can no longer be accepted in our democratic system that guarantees the most important civil responsibility that all residents must exercise.

This decline in voter participation should be a wake-up call for elected officials that some creative solutions need to be implemented since continued decline in voter participation questions the validity of future referendums, since they many not represent the voting population's wishes.

We can argue that voting responsibility falls upon the shoulders of the voting population. But this kind of thinking does not resolve the problem. Every one of us experience repeated reminders to keep our appointments and to fulfill our responsibilities. But nothing happens here. The result is senior voters seem to have lost trust and interest in Newtown's government elected officials. Residents continue to see continued increases in the real estate taxes and the mill rate, which are forcing many of them to pack their belongings and leave.

Very little was done in the previous administration to alleviate the increased financial burden except occasional verbal references expressing some empathy for their plight. Seniors' requests for an equitable tax relief program were never considered or implemented. Resident calls for spending limits and reductions were simply ignored, as if such thinking was unacceptable in the establish "continued spending culture." So these conditions have produced serious "voter apathy" because seniors and other residents know that there are certain "spending imperatives" that are prioritized in every new budget that favor certain groups and their questionable demands.

Newtown's elected officials will continue their "addiction for increased spending." But one action that the "leadership" can enact to increase voter participation is to mail a postcard to every resident, a month before the referendum. They should also fix a certain Saturday in April every year, as they do with national elections, so that there are no surprises - as was the case this year with April's school vacation week preceding the April vote, where many families were out of town and uninformed.

Dr Rudy Magnan

60 Watkins Drive, Sandy Hook         May 1, 2018

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