Voter apathy draws ire in Yukon

Vice mayor challenges voters; 3.72% turnout in YPS election

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Yukon Vice Mayor Rick Cacini

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

An elected city leader expressed frustration this week over Yukon voter apathy.

“I find a lot of folks are not going out to vote as they should,” Yukon Vice Mayor Rick Cacini said. “In fact, this morning when I voted at 10:30, I was number nine.”

Cacini ended up being among 1,125 voters who cast ballots in the April 5th Yukon Public Schools’ election.

Incumbent Leonard Wells beat challenger Paul Gerber, 681-444, to win a new five-year term as the YPS Board of Education’s office 2 representative.

There are 30,217 registered voters across the Yukon school district, according to the Canadian County Election Board.

So, only 3.72% of eligible voters participated in the annual YPS board election.

Voters across the entire Yukon school district – which includes Yukon and Oklahoma City residents – could vote April 5.

Twenty polling places were open; only five precincts saw more than 100 votes tallied.

“The veterans of this country – American Revolution and on – have fought for the rights of our people,” said Cacini, founder and curator of the Yukon Veterans Museum. “We have the right to vote. If we don’t vote, that means we’re turning our backs to our veterans.

“That’s one thing I don’t care for.”

Cacini is a retired lieutenant colonel with 40 years in the U.S. Army and 24 years in the U.S. Air Force.

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VOTING IS A RIGHT

During open discussion at Tuesday night’s Yukon City Council meeting, Cacini read an amendment to the U.S. Constitution ratified April 18, 1920:

“The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state.”

Cacini summarized by adding, “I would like to remind people to get out to vote.”

Some 323 votes were cast in the recent Ward 1 Yukon City Council election, when challenger Rodney Zimmerman bested Cacini by a 197-126 vote margin.

Cacini said previously he was “shocked” when less than 10% of eligible Ward 1 voters participated in that Feb. 8th election.

Zimmerman, a Yukon teacher and coach, will receive the oath of office on May 3 to begin a four-year term.

The City of Yukon has ward voting for its ward 1, 2, 3, and 4 elections. The at-large council election is open to all Yukon registered voters.

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