Failure to Communicate Resulted in Error

Editor, News-Register:

In response to the article titled, “Map Data Incorrect,” of April 14, 2012: On Friday, April 13, a privately paid advertisement was in The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register. Our intent was to inform residents of Ohio County, particularly those in the Table Rock Lane, Elm Grove, and Valley Grove areas, they are now part of the 3rd Delegate District. Being just a few weeks from the Primary Election, we looked at different official copies and layouts in attempt to bring this information to the constituents we serve.

Based on the incorrect information provided, another candidate for the same seats saw the ad, contacted the voters’ registration office and contacted the newspaper disputing some of the precincts listed in text. This led to us spending most of the afternoon speaking with the Ohio County Voters’ Registration office, the Legislative Redistricting office, and newspaper personnel. We did, however, have the great fortune of receiving kind phone calls from constituents that were motivated to contact us to tell us they appreciate us working together – particularly at a time when it seems politicians bicker for the sake of bickering. We knew this was a non-partisan issue and addressed it as such. The newspaper ran the story on Saturday that our data was wrong.

This whole situation is the epitome of what is wrong with our political system today, a large bureaucracy that because of its size fails to provide the public the correct information. One hand doesn’t know what the other hand is doing. I highly doubt anyone was going to hang onto that ad and take it to their polling place or question if a certain precinct exists. Most people will go to their polling place to vote, and if that location (or precinct) has changed, they will be receiving a new card with a new polling place in the mail indicating such and where they are to now vote. The State’s Legislative Redistricting Office blames Ohio County as never being very communicative with them as other counties apparently are, and Ohio County has stated in the article, we would not have made the mistake if we had only asked their office.

I’m sorry for the miscommunication about certain precinct numbers in the ad. It was in no way our intention to confuse voters. We were hoping to illustrate the growth in the district. I can only hope that most people took from it the same message the sweet lady from Garden Park Terrace apartments saw – a Republican and a Democrat working together as delegates, and not partisan politicians, to represent their constituents rather than fight, tear each other down, and manipulate situations for personal gain.

Erikka Storch

House of Delegates member

Ohio County