Driving County Roads

An on line journal sharing my views. The content reflects my background as a rural person employed in agriculture and as a retired elected official of local government.

Friday, March 04, 2011

One person/One vote

Rep. Duane Quam of Byron is leading an effort to allow people who own land in school districts or counties other than where they reside to vote on levy referendums in the other areas. Rep. Quam wants to put this on the ballot as a possible amendment to the constitution of the state of Minnesota.

This is nothing but bad policy. The constitution of the state should not be altered or amended willy nilly just to satisfy the whims of special interests. This document is the basis of our laws in this state. More and more, elected people are taking the "easy way out" and passing the decisions that they should be making on to the voters who happen to show up at the next election. Constitutional amendments should not be used to make law. That is what we elect representatives and senators to do.

Rep. Quam's proposal would go against the Supreme Court ruling of 1964 which guarantees one person/one vote. His proposal would give an unfair advantage to wealthy people who own land in many places. The Supreme Court ruled that each voter must be treated equally.

The farmers/businessmen who cannot vote on referendums in districts or counties where they do not live had a choice when they purchased the property. If they wanted land, then they need to live with their own decision. They should not be given any more privileges than other citizens.

This is a bad idea and bad public policy. end

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