Our Opinion: ‘Curious’ disappointment with election outcomes

News Tribune editorial

“Curiouser and curiouser.” – Alice in “Alice in Wonderland”

We are curious why an anti-tax group is disappointed by the magnitude of local tax issues approved by voters Tuesday.

We think letting voters decide tax issues is an excellent, and democratic, concept.

The group, Americans for Prosperity-Missouri (AFP-MO) issued a news release Wednesday that “expressed disappointment that an overwhelming majority of the county and municipal tax proposals” was approved.

The group attributes the disappointing results to voters who are “unaware” and must “become educated.”

“Americans for Prosperity,” said Patrick Werner, the group’s state director, “recognizes that many Missourians don’t turn out for their local election and were probably unaware of the ballot proposals that could directly affect their pocketbook. This is why it is so crucial for citizens to become educated about and involved in their local government.”

What must alarm AFP is the magnitude of voters who apparently ignored or resisted the message delivered during the group’s 2013 Municipal Project, a series of “education town halls to help citizens fight back.”

The group, however, is not discouraged and intends to “ramp up its Municipal Project for next year.”

We have no problem with AFP’s efforts to educate voters or to encourage them to oppose local tax proposals.

Those efforts provide a counterbalance to local campaigns often organized to promote ballot issues.

We do, however, have a problem with AFP’s suggestion that all local tax initiatives are misguided and that voters who approve them are ignorant.

We don’t always agree with the outcome of ballot proposals. But we respect the integrity of the process and the ability of voters to make up their own minds.

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