Every state capital but ours


Posted: Wednesday, December 20, 2000

For over 200 years presidential electors in the United States have gone to their state capitals to cast their electoral ballots. Electors for George Bush or Al Gore in every state cast their ballots in their state capitals last Monday except ours. Alaska's three electors cast their ballots in Anchorage.

I am disappointed in the state's decision to bypass Juneau's role as the state capital and hold the balloting outside the capital. The reason given was cost. John Lindback, speaking for the lieutenant governor's office, was quoted as saying it was cheaper to fly two election personnel to Anchorage than to fly three electors to Juneau. This is true.

Presidential elections, however, only happen every four years. It seems reasonable that the travel budget for the state could handle three airline tickets every four years. If not, and if the Electoral College is still around four years from now, perhaps the electors themselves, or their political party, or our own Alaska Committee could cover the cost of three tickets.

It is a proud, dignified, historic function of a capital city to be the site of the balloting for president and vice president of the United States. Juneau's role as a capital city was needlessly usurped last Monday.

Ken Koelsch


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