GRANOLAPARK: Vote – you paid for it!


Dear readers,

Yeah, there’s hardly anyone to vote for, but if you want your money’s worth, you better vote anyway.


The council, not knowing last spring that there would be no election contests to speak of this fall, chose the most expensive of three voting systems.

This year’s election system system will cost $23,500, around $12.96 per vote. The lowest cost system would have been around $5000 – $2.75 a vote. There was a middle bid – $17,500 – $9.65 per vote. The per-vote figure was based on recent election turn-outs.


Meanwhile, the election is melting down faster than the Fukishima nuclear power plant.

Ward 4 candidate Eric Mendoza – the only challenger in 1 out of 7 council races – dropped out last Thursday. The next day Elizabeth Wallace announced her write-in mayoral candidacy with 4 days to go before the election. She said she couldn’t stand seeing all those blank spaces on the ballots where challengers’ names would go.


So, the ballot contest is moot, and only a doomed symbolic write-in candidate is left for you Don Quixotes out there.

Irony upon irony

Do we have time before polls open tomorrow morning to list all the ironies?

There’s the above-mentioned Trueballot luxury election system the council bought – so we’d have smoother elections with a shorter wait while the ballots are counted.


This is the year the council passed voter reform laws. They gave 16 year olds the vote. They gave felons the vote. They kept voter registration open up to election day. They forced landlords to let candidates campaign in big apartment buildings.

Just in time for the Un-election.


The weirdest thing about this election is that there are no challengers. A lot of voters are furious with some of the current councilmembers, yet no candidates emerged.

Maybe the voters figured having to serve another term was punishment enough for the incumbents.


So, what is a voter to do? Besides staying away from the polls in disgust.

If your council member raises your blood pressure, cast a protest vote. Write somebody or something in. “Gilbert,” perhaps.

– Gilbert


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About the Author

Gilbert is the pseudonym of a hard-bitten, hard-drinking, long-time Takoma Park resident who maintains the granolapark blog. Gilbert and William L. Brown — Granola Park's mild-mannered chief of staff, researcher, and drink pourer — have never been seen in the same place at the same time.

5 Comments on "GRANOLAPARK: Vote – you paid for it!"

  1. I agree that we need to do something to create more competitive races. And while this year is about as bad as I’ve seen since moving here in 2000, it’s not that atypical. That said, in an era where states across the land are rolling back access to voting, I applaud our city’s efforts (and investments) to make voting as easy and accessible as possible.

  2. Steve Davies | November 5, 2013 at 10:27 am |

    Serving as a councilmember is essentially a volunteer job. No wonder no one wants the heartburn. “Furious” with the incumbents? I haven’t felt that. More like “resigned to the current situation” — add a speed hump here,

  3. Steve Davies | November 5, 2013 at 10:35 am |

    endorse a meatless (not just veggie, no “meat”) “sustainability” plan there (at a cost of $80,000-plus). I’m skipping the festivities today, despite my councilmember’s entreaties to show up to cast a symbolic vote of support. All I’d be doing by heading down there is adding more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Apropos of nothing, we’re having a cub scout meeting tonight. I doubt anyone will even mention to the boys that today is/was Election Day in Takoma Park. In fact, it should be interesting to see how many of the adults present cast a ballot. My guess is two (that’s optimistic). I’ll let you know.

  4. Steve Davies | November 6, 2013 at 10:26 am |

    Forgot to ask the adults at the cub scout meeting about voting, but no one mentioned the fact it was Election Day. Same old, same old.

  5. I was the write-in candidate for Mayor. I learned so much on the streets of Takoma Park in the only 2 days I had available to campaign. It was a great litmus test of voters’ discontent and desire for choices. Definitely gave me an impetus to start working now on 2015.

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