Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966


Return voting to local precincts


The precinct is the smallest political unit in the country; each precinct elects one assembly member. A precinct is where elections are won or lost. Most importantly, it is your neighborhood. You know the people, the schools, and the community centers. You have your hands on the pulse of the precinct. You understand the assets and needs of your neighborhood and have a desire to improve it.

The precinct assembly person organizes their precinct and educates voters about important issues. Haines with about 2,300 residents would have about 383 people in each precinct. We have a representative form of government and elections by precinct are the most representative.

Some would like to change to what they call the “slate” elections where if there are, say, two assembly seats available, then with however many people run, the top two vote-getters would be elected. Though unlikely, you could end up with six next-door neighbors as the assembly. The point is that many areas of the borough could be left out. That method is easier for the government, but not for the residents. Thank you. Bill Kurz