Key Town Leaders Didn't Vote In Primary

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Some of the most invested citizens in the town of Payson didn't bother to send in their ballots during the March primary election.

Among the list of registered voters who did not vote, obtained from the Payson town clerk's office, were a school principal, several business leaders, campaign contributors, candidate relatives and police officers.

The list was full of people who never hesitate to raise their voice when elected officials make decisions that aren't in their best interest, but when the time came to shape the makeup of our community leadership they didn't participate.

When you live in a small town like Payson, your one vote registers on a scale that it doesn't in a metropolitan area. And it should, because the decisions made by our town council affect each of us on a personal level.

The school principal who didn't vote will probably be rallying behind the bond issue for school facilities maintenance on an upcoming ballot and that person will rely on the people of Payson who care about education to vote.

The police officers and town employees who didn't vote are especially surprising considering the council makes decisions regarding their salaries.

Several business leaders did not have time to cast a ballot despite the fact that the members of town council will decide the direction of Payson's growth, including the future discussion of a highway bypass.

We do not know what excuses or extenuating circumstances kept these people from voting, but we do know that everyone has a second chance.

Those who did not vote in the primary election can still vote in the upcoming general election, according to Town Manager Fred Carpenter.

Ballots will be mailed April 13, voter registration ends April 17 and the election culminates May 16 at 7 p.m.

Carpenter said ballots not mailed by Friday, May 12 should be walked into Town Hall in order to be counted.

"Votes are determined by when the town receives the ballot, not when it's postmarked," he said.

Despite the lack of turnout from some of Payson's most political people, the number of voters this year eclipsed past elections.

"We had a 59.4-percent turnout this year. That's pretty high," Carpenter said. "In a traditional municipal election, the turnout is between 20 to 30 percent. The all-mail ballot makes voting simpler and if you have a hot race, it makes a difference."

For voting questions, contact Town Hall at (928) 474-5242.

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