Wednesday, November 9, 2011
DALLAS -- The measure to make Polk County Board of Commissioner positions nonpartisan passed by an overwhelming margin in the Tuesday, Nov. 8, special election.
About 75 percent of the votes, or 9,233, supported the measure, while 25 percent, or 3,069, voted `no.'
The measure eliminates party affiliation for BOC candidates and opens BOC primaries to all voters, regardless of what party they are registered with.
Dave Weston, one of the measure's co-sponsors, said he was pleasantly surprised with the outcome.
"I didn't really know what to expect," he said. "I'm very happy to with the result."
Weston said he and co-sponsor Danny Jaffer had early indications of strong support for the measure during the campaign to collect signatures to place the measure on the ballot.
"Almost everyone we asked to sign the petition signed it," Jaffer said. "We had a pretty good idea it would pass, but this was beyond what we thought."
Weston and Jaffer -- who both ran for BOC office in 2010 -- said opening primaries to all registered voters was one of their main reasons for launching the effort. They said under the partisan system, about 25 percent of registered voters in Polk County were excluded from voting for BOC candidates in primaries.
"For us it was making sure the 10,000 voters excluded from the primary could also vote," Jaffer said.
The change will take affect in the primary election in May 2012. BOC seats were the only county-level or city-level offices elected on a partisan basis in Polk County.