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Letters | Non-binding ballot questions

Non-binding questions are not the problem

Your Nov. 15 editorial “Ballots: Bound up in non-binding questions“ suggests that non-binding public policy questions should be eliminated in order to reduce long lines at the ballot box. In fact, long lines depended much more heavily on local and statewide election administration practices then on whether there was a non-binding question on the ballot. There were long lines in many places with no public policy questions.

The best way to reduce long lines would be to enact sensible, low-cost election administration changes already adopted by many states, such as no-excuse-needed absentee voting, early voting, and the ability to look up one’s official voter registration status (something voters in 45 states can do, but not us here in Massachusetts).

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In Boston, precinct lines also need to be updated and equalized — something that has not happened in well over 50 years.

There is no need to curb the occasional use of public policy questions, which are important ways of measuring public support and enthusiasm and often pave the way for legislative action or statewide, binding ballot questions. We need to fix our election system instead.

Let the people vote.

Pamela Wilmot

Executive director

Common Cause



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