Attention Isla Vistans!

If you live in I.V., your vote counts 10 times as much as the rest of ours — so use it! Because of structural flukes the votes of five UCSB students can decide the direction of the whole county!

Huh? If you are pressed for time, just trust me on this and take five minutes to do these two steps:

  1. Register to vote at

  2. Vote Joan Hartmann for 3rd District.

If you’ve got five more minutes to wrap your head around it, here is the explanation:

You and four of your friends can literally tip the balance of power in the county from the hands of conservative oil driller/developers to environmentally minded moderates with progressive social values, simply by taking the two steps above. This is because:

  1. There are five county supervisors.

  2. If S.B. County were split in half along the spine of the coastal mountain ridge, South County would be the most blue county, North County the most red in California.

  3. Most critical decisions are made on 3-2 votes, along a conservative North County/environmentalist South County split.

  4. The 3ird District supervisor — that is, the one you can vote for — is the swing vote most of the time.

  5. The 3rd District, the biggest, spans North and South County, and is always an intensely competitive race.

  6. There are enough UCSB students in I.V. to reliably swing the race liberal — if you all get off your asses and vote.

  7. Guess what? That “students taking a moment to vote” part is touch and go, so this race has been decided by razor’s edge margins almost every time — conservative by five votes in 1993, which after a long recount battle went to the environmental candidate several months later. During those months in office, the conservative majority pushed the resource-pillaging pedal to the metal … high drama, high stakes.

That year, my wife and I had just moved over the border to the 3rd District … but didn’t think of changing our registration address. Through the whole drama, we were haunted by the knowledge that our two votes could have saved significant damage.

So there you go.

This year Joan Hartmann makes voting choice easy; she’s hands down the most qualified candidate.

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