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Limbach: Support the Democratic Process in San Juan County

  • Written by Learner Limbach

I’m writing to express my support for Ranked Choice Voting being on the ballot for San Juan County voters to vote on this November, along with the other three charter amendments put forward by the Charter Review Commission. While I support Ranked Choice Voting as a concept, I’m not writing to make an argument for or against each of the amendments, but to advocate for voters of San Juan County getting the chance to vote on them.

I am alarmed that at the recent Jan. 24, 2022 San Juan County Council retreat meeting, concern was expressed about the legality of putting the four Charter Amendments on this November's ballot. How can the Charter Review Commission be denied putting forward amendments on this year’s ballot when the original decision to split charter amendments between the 2021 and 2022 was made only after receiving guidance from Randy Gaylord, the county’s prosecuting attorney? I don't believe the County Council should be intervening, and I am disappointed and perplexed by the possibility of a challenge happening. It’s the responsibility of our County Auditor to place the four Charter Amendments on the November 2022 ballot in San Juan County, and the county council has no place interfering with the process. I strongly advocate for letting the voters of San Juan County vote on these Charter Amendments this November.

Ironically, while the goal of the Ranked Choice Voting amendment is to make our elections more democratic and inclusive, preventing the proposal from being voted on altogether would be exactly the opposite, denying voters the free and fair choice of how to run our elections.

Learner Limbach

Orcas Island