Opinionated @ CFE

Endorsement: Jeremy Votaw for Salt Lake County Clerk


Four years ago, I was absolutely aghast that Sherrie Swenson would claim that there was nothing wrong with the Diebold voting machines in use by the county despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Her constant denials of any problems rather than taking ownership of the issue demonstrated a lack of real leadership and put me off from ever considering her for public office. It is especially disconcerting that Ms. Swenson is so cavalier about one of her most basic responsibilities, ensuring fair and honest elections.

These problems with our current County Clerk do not automatically guarantee an endorsement for her opponent. I’m perfectly happy to vote “none of the above” when it suits me. (I’m seriously considering it for the US Senate race.) Jeremy Votaw, a web designer, is currently running to replace Sherrie Swenson and I e-mailed him to find out a bit more about why he thinks he should be the new County Clerk.

I’m pleased to report that Mr. Votaw is very well-acquainted with the issues facing Diebold voting machines generally and electronic voting machines in particular, but is also realistic in accepting that the decision to purchase said machines can’t be undone due to the sunk cost. As a fellow technologist, I’m also confident that he can use technology to improve operations at the Clerk’s office; I was appalled that I could not find candidate information on their website, but instead had to e-mail to get it. It’s only slightly inconvenient, but why have a person do the job of a machine? I think that belies a need to better modernize the office, something that the current Clerk has had ample time to do.

Is this a perfect choice? No. The snarky exchanges between the two on Twitter over the age of their campaign photos, while hilarious, also made me wince a little at the lack of decorum. (But still, super funny, so I can let it slide.) Given how strongly I feel about Sherrie Swenson’s ignorance on electronic voting machines and the contrasting familiarity with them on the part of  her opponent, I fully endorse Jeremy Votaw to replace her this November.

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