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No need to change the calendar for local municipal elections

I have a different opinion than Steve Sebelius offers in his April 9 column, “Combine the elections!” Mr. Sebelius supports moving Southern Nevada’s municipal elections from odd-numbered years to the same time as the balloting for president, governor, Congress and state legislative races in even-numbered years.

First, voting is a right, not an obligation. Citizens who choose not to vote are exercising their right to participate or not participate. A freely-made decision not to vote, for whatever reason, should be respected, not berated.

Secondly, those who do turn out to vote in these elections are generally better informed about the issues and the candidates in the various races. Casting an uninformed vote is worse than not casting a vote at all.

While ideally we should want more citizens to take the time to learn enough about these races to cast an informed ballot, we should stop clubbing people over the head who, again for various reasons, exercise their right not to vote.

Lastly, running elections is one of the few legitimate roles of government. If the government wants to save some money there are plenty of other places to cut spending than saving a few thousand piddling dollars by moving the muni elections from odd-numbered years to even-numbered years.

If you want to vote, learn the issues, research the candidates and do so. If you don’t want to vote, fine. Stay home. That’s your right as a citizen. Don’t be bullied into a voting booth.

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