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High Cost for a Low-Turnout Runoff

May 26, 2003

This has got to be a new low: The turnout in Tuesday's runoff election was barely over 9%. Assuming the election cost us taxpayers $1.5 million (a conservative estimate), that means the city paid out close to $10 for every single vote cast ... at a time when hospitals are closing and our schools are facing cutbacks. This is a crime.

It's time to change this busted system and elect our leaders with one election, not two. If the city simply used instant runoff voting, we could get a majority winner in each race the first time out and not have to dump millions of taxpayer dollars into costly runoff elections. San Francisco has instituted IRV. Why can't we?

Patrick Meighan

Los Angeles

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According to your May 22 editorial, newly elected Los Angeles City Councilman Martin Ludlow, whom you endorsed, must prove his mettle by voting against the interests of organized labor, which helped turn out the vote for him. Might it be the case that these people voted for Ludlow in part because he is pro-labor? If so, why should Ludlow betray the interests of the voters who elected him, any more than he should vote against issues of concern to The Times merely to demonstrate that its endorsement does not make him your captive?

By the logic of the editorial, President Bush has acquitted himself well by running as a "compassionate" conservative and then proving his independence by waging an unnecessary war, slashing benefits and services to the poor and unemployed and bestowing a huge tax cut on the rich.

Let's hope Ludlow doesn't follow that example.

Glenn Rothner

South Pasadena

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Despite loudspeaker-equipped vans rolling through my neighborhood declaring that Nate Holden is the best councilman this district has ever had, Ludlow won the election. I agree that this election was a referendum on Holden. It's the reason I voted against his deputy, Deron Williams. Here's hoping for a brighter future in the 10th District.

Todd Engle

Los Angeles

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