Dear Editor:

When discussing House Bill 224, let’s not lose sight of the big picture. HB 224 forces Grand County to abandon its popular non-partisan form of government.

HB 224 gives political parties special access to the ballot. Unaffiliated voters (i.e., voters who have chosen not to affiliate with any political party) are by far the largest group in Grand County. Most Grand County citizens are independent-minded.

Our current non-partisan form of government treats all candidates equally, regardless of whether or not they are affiliated with a political party. In a non-partisan system, political parties are free to participate in elections — the local Democratic and Republican parties are both very active — but parties are not given any special advantages. “Non-partisan” means that unaffiliated candidates play by the same rules as candidates backed by a political party. HB 224 forces Grand County to switch to a partisan system, which gives political parties more influence and special access to the ballot. Most Grand County voters are unaffiliated — they should not treated as second-class voters.

Marcia Tendick