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Now that we’ve had a few months to ponder the results of the hectic November election, how do you think moving local issues to November’s ballot affected your voting in local races?

43%  I was less familiar with local issues than I was during off-year elections. 

I think that having the local issues on the November ballot caused them to be lost among all of the national issues.

It did have the benefit of potentially having more voters voting on the issues, but I feel that the voters were less informed because they were overwhelmed.

Tyger White, Santa Clarita

33%  No change. I always vote in local races, regardless of when they’re held. 

I always vote and I always research issues and candidates. Adding local races and issues to the November General Election just adds more work.

That added work becomes a problem with turnout when people who are already inclined to pass up an election feel overwhelmed by a plethora of state ballot measures, county measures, local, state and federal candidates, plus the tumult of a fierce presidential election.

If we want an informed and engaged electorate, I think that more has to be done to promote civic participation, not just approaching an election, but throughout the year.

Perhaps our local library system could offer programs for adults and children. Of course, more people would be inclined to participate if they believed that their concerns were being heard and addressed.

Diane Trautman, Santa Clarita

10%  Local issues were lost in the national race. 

Having the local issues on the November ballot did not affect my voting. It is my opinion that people tend to focus too much on the presidential election while letting the local and state issues fall by the wayside.

I find this ironic because by and large these more local issues tend to be the ones that have an immediate and direct impact on us. California and Santa Clarita are prime examples.

Santa Clarita is seen as a somewhat conservative area in largely liberal California. Yet we are at the mercy of a state Legislature that holds a Democratic supermajority in which economic, political and ideological views often win out over practicality and what’s best for residents.

Take, for instance, the recent action to raise the gas tax (which is already the highest in the nation) and car registration fees. We recalled a governor for doing this exact same thing not too long ago.

I also feel it is prudent to point out that these are the same Democrats who stand on a platform of helping the poor, and now they are applauding themselves for taking money out of the pockets of the low-income working poor.

Raising sales taxes, gas taxes and registration fees will have a disproportionate impact on the poor. Now, I can only wonder if those same Democrats would have been so willing to dip into our pockets if they were in the spotlight come election season and weren’t able to hide behind the circus that has become our national elections.

Jason Gibbs, Saugus

9%  I was more familiar with local issues than I was during off-year elections.

5%  I voted in local races I wouldn’t have bothered with before. 

1%  I didn’t vote on local issues – I never do.

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