Letter to the Editor: A Response to ‘They Don’t Want You to Vote’

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Bruce Porter

A few days ago, Das Williams inserted himself into the election for County Supervisor for the 3rd District (inclusive of Isla Vista and the UCSB campus) with a baseless attack on a volunteer who supports my candidacy. My opponent, Joan Hartmann, shortly thereafter joined him on social media.  My name is Bruce Porter and I wish to speak to you, the readers of this newspaper and the students of this great institution.Make no mistake, I humbly ask for your vote, freely given and purposefully bestowed. However, to that end I refuse to patronize you—students from one of the top ten public universities in the world—as Mr. Williams and Ms. Hartmann have done in their opinions and in their blind support of voter registration practices that put you at risk.

As an investment professional, I am distinctly aware of the threats posed by those who would misuse and abuse personal information. The difference between Mr. Williams, Ms. Hartmann, and I, is that I have greater respect for your technological knowledge and your understanding of precautions to protect yourself from identity theft.

In a free exchange of ideas I have great confidence in your ability to participate in your right and privilege to vote, and to personally and responsibly register and exercise that franchise without partisan nannies to do the work for you. Das Williams and Joan Hartmann do not have the same confidence in your abilities.

I have dedicated my candidacy to posing real solutions to problems that have plagued our county. One such solution was an outreach to students and residents of UCSB and Isla Vista to avail themselves of the most secure and efficient methods for voter registration. To that end I sought the input of a woman with a gift for establishing a deep and meaningful rapport with students and local citizens—and for that she has now become a target of my opponent’s campaign.

Let me ask you, what is the more secure release of personal information? Is it to hand a total stranger, your name, date of birth, driver license number, and social security number on a card with no knowledge of to whom or to where it’s going, or input directly on a State of California secure server? This is, after all, the 21st century.

Terry Baxter is a single mom, a grandmother, an SBCC student, and a passionate believer in the promise of local government to solve local problems and address real needs. When you meet her, you’ll find she is of great conviction and won’t be bullied. She and I will share our ideas like Isla Vista 2.0 to give you a voice in your own future and in that of Isla Vista, and to provide to Isla Vista its rightful share of county resources, on the ground, where they are needed.

If you’ll give me a chance I’ll share my other ideas for listening to residents and working together to provide solutions to improve Santa Barbara County. For all of us.

Bruce Porter is a candidate running in the Third District Santa Barbara County Supervisor race. The Bottom Line will be hosting a debate between Porter and candidate Joan Hartmann on Oct. 13 at 6:30 p.m. in I.V. Theater.

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