Ada residents want to know more about candidates and issues before each city election, and they need an unbiased source to supply that information.
That was one of the key findings to emerge from a recent survey of Ada’s registered voters, which was conducted by three political science students at East Central University.
Students Marsha Coyle, Will Irwin and Stephen Vines surveyed registered voters about whether they participated in the Ada City Council election in March. The survey was part of a research project focused on why people aren’t voting in local elections.
Coyle was surprised to learn that voters were hungry for more information about city issues, she said Wednesday.
“In other words, if we’re getting ready to vote on an extra penny sales tax to pay for roads and bridges, they want information about exactly which roads and bridges and how long it’s going to take and how much it costs,” she said. “If I vote for this, what happens? If I vote against it, what happens? That kind of thing.”
Having their say
The students started their project with an Internet-based survey, then supplemented it with a phone survey. They drew up a list of randomly selected Adans who were eligible to vote and had either a landline or a home phone number.
Participants were chosen from the Ada phone book and listed by ward, based on their home address. A polling service made the phone calls.
The polling service called 618 people, but only 37 completed the survey, according to a copy of Coyle’s report. Another 503 participants started the survey but did not finish it.
The students dipped into their own pockets to finance the project. They used Ada’s most recent city council election as a starting point, then compared that information with data from other Oklahoma cities of about the same size that used the same form of government.