Letter to the Editor: Pitiful turnout for Seaford municipal election

Special congratulations to Matt MacCoy for his election to Seaford’s City Council on April 20. And congratulations to Jose Santos on a good showing and the willingness to run for elected office. The 295 voters also deserve kudos for exercising their right to vote.

But isn’t it pitiful that only 295 people voted — less than 30% registered voters and 5% of all those potentially eligible to vote. Mr. MacCoy won with just 169 votes, with Mr. Santos losing by a mere 43 votes!

This incredible situation is the “work”, maybe “non-work”, of the current Mayor and City Council. (M&CC).

Seaford’ s M&CC have and have had a very clear idea about the steps necessary to dramatically increase both voter registration and voter participation. However, they have chosen the path of doing very little impactful reform other than offering new utility customers a chance to register when signing up for electricity service.

But why? Lacking any other reasonable explanation, in my opinion the answer seems pretty clear. Our city seems to be deathly afraid of a truly representative city government, which might upset the carefully crafted “apple cart” protecting the interests of a few. Very simply, if only a small percentage of eligible voters are registered and only a small percentage of those registered actually vote, then those with vested interest in maintaining the status quo have a much better chance of controlling the outcome of municipal elections.

Seaford’s M&CC deserve our damnation for the on-going and deliberate obstruction of a far more representative democracy by failing to enact impactful voter registration and voting reforms.

Now is the time for Mr. MacCoy to step up and demand change for the good of our community by:

One, adding all citizens registered to vote in state and/or federal elections. Two, register all citizens currently paying utilities, not just new ones. Three, solicit registration of relatives of all utility customers. Four, allow same-day voter registration and voting. Five, establish measures to reach a goal of 85% registration of all potentially eligible Seaford citizens.

Finally, move municipal elections (except referenda) to the November’s national and state elections date; sponsor candidate forums/debates, etc; establish two voting districts along with three at-large berths for city council elections; and heavily advertise and facilitate municipal elections and voter registration with various active outreach programs, including door to door solicitation, if needed.

I look forward to Mr. MacCoy’s efforts to enact these measures.

Dan Cannon

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