LETTER: New law puts hurdles in independents’ path

Jul. 02, 2013 @ 05:01 AM

To the Editor:

Concerning the new law requiring partisan elections, I believe my experience in the last county commissioner election differs from arguments for the bill. In regard to the need for transparency, I agree. That is why I had a website dedicated to the specific issues facing the candidates and my detailed positions on the issues. I also attended or was represented at all public forums. Check to see how many party candidates used websites or attended all forums to provide transparency. A candidate who depends on a party’s website or platform provides less of a personal perspective to the voters. We need that personal perspective so we can vote for the candidate that lines up with our values.

In addition, the truly independent candidates, who are focused on the issues and want to remain unaffiliated, will now face hurdles that the party candidates do not have to face. Perhaps the toughest will be the petition process (4 percent of the registered voters), which is no easy matter, plus it diverts resources from the board of elections that has to verify each signature.

I visited Mike Stone in Raleigh, and he was willing to discuss issues and explain his positions. We agreed to disagree. I find it unfortunate for Lee County to be singled out for this law that curtails the likelihood of truly independent candidates. The new law just does not provide the best process to address the critical issues facing our community while avoiding party politics.

Ron Hewett