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Start the Presses: What's on tap at the News-Press & Leader

February 20, 2011|Dan Evans

Now that we've gotten the Sunday News-Press & Leader off the ground, it's time to celebrate. Please stop by our launch party from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at our offices: 221 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale. You'll need to let us know you're coming so we have enough food and drinks. Drop us a line at (818) 637-3254.

The launch of the Sunday edition, though important for us, is hardly the only thing going on these days. Both Burbank and Glendale are gearing up for their respective elections. Burbank's first round is on Feb. 22, while Glendale's one-and-only election day is April 5. If needed, Burbank will hold a second round on April 12.

Readers of the Burbank Leader saw the paper's endorsements last Saturday. The editorial board will be conducting interviews of candidates for Glendale City Council, the Board of Education and Glendale Community College's Board of Trustees in the coming weeks. We are planning to announce our recommendations for those races — as well as for the local ballot initiative Measure S — on Saturday, March 12.

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Burbank, as it has for some time, is doing its balloting via mail. This means that all election materials must be received, not postmarked, by Tuesday. If you're a Burbank resident and you have yet to vote, drop off your ballot at City Hall to make sure your vote counts.

As a resident of the Media City, I have long disliked mail-in balloting. Though its effect is so much more immediate, municipal elections are traditionally the ones with the lowest turnout.

Though it may seem ridiculous, several people have told me they don't bother to vote because you have to affix a stamp to the ballot. And, of course, each ballot, regardless of how many voters live at one address, requires its own stamp.

We need to boost turnout. Burbank has problems, no doubt, and these problems will not be addressed properly without an engaged electorate. It seems the increased cost of a postage-paid ballot would be a good investment.

There are about 50,000 registered voters in the Burbank. If we had full turnout, the postage would cost the city about $21,000. That's a whole lot less than the $1 million the city provided in merit-pay bonuses last year.

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