Poll reveals support of dam preservation, 2 to 1
Cape’s Dam is already fragmented from floodwaters. DAILY RECORD PHOTO BY CHRISTIPHER SALINAS.
Respondents to a new San Marcos Daily Record poll overwhelmingly support “keeping” Cape’s Dam as opposed to removing it.
The poll, rolled out as part of online improvements last week, drew more than 2,000 votes in eight day’s time and caused a stir on social media. Activists from both sides turned to Facebook, email newsletters and even discounts on kayak instruction to ask for support for their causes via voting in the poll.
The question was “Do you believe Cape’s Dam should be removed?”
With 1,248 votes, (61 percent), the definitive response was “No, we need to keep it there.” Following with 31 percent, or 642 votes, was “Yes, absolutely.” 92 votes, totaling 5 percent, went to “We need to do more research before making a decision.” The remaining 3 percent went to “I don’t know what Cape’s Dam is.” with 40 votes and “I don’t care about Cape’s Dam.” with 26 votes.
After our Facebook post the poll was shared 121 times to more than 6,000 people, confirming the controversial nature of the issue. Online responses to a social media post about our poll included “Cape’s Dam is important to our community,” as well as “Save Cape’s Dam ! Needs to stay where it is ! My vote is NO .” (sic)
The San Marcos River Foundation reached out to its members in its weekly newsletter noting “the canoeing business located at Cape’s Dam” is encouraging customers to vote “Keep it there,” in exchange for a discount on their rental.
The Olympic Outdoor Center, a kayak instruction center located near the dam owned by Ben Kvanli, outspoken advocate for keeping the dam in place, posted an online offer that read, “VOTE No at www.SanMarcosRecord.com. This offer cannot be combined with any other offers. Offer valid for $35.00 off on purchases over $75.00. Minimum purchase amount $75.00. Coupon must be presented at the time of purchase. Only one discount per customer per purchase.”
Councilwoman Jane Hughson, who initially voted for the removal of Cape’s Dam, says she’s not making any quick decisions at this point.
“I’m still waiting to get information that the city staff is working on,” Hughson said. “I look forward to the discussions we have in the future about the dam. I have gotten a lot of information since we voted the first time.”
According to our website designer, the poll was launched with the guidelines of one vote per IP address, but required some initial tinkering after launch. After claims on social media that users voted multiple times, we assessed the concerns.
According to Allison Perk, a representative at eType Newspaper Services, “Now, there is a one vote per IP address limit to avoid repeated voters. If you try voting again, you’ll receive a message that says, ‘You have already voted on this poll,’” adding that the initial ability to vote multiple times “was related to the previous ability to cancel a vote and vote again, which we’ve since removed.”
Perk added that she believed the only votes tallied were either from varying IP addresses or canceled and re-casted votes. The poll came to a close on Tuesday night with 2,042 votes and is now addressing the topic of the SMCISD bond election. Anyone can vote in the poll regardless of being a subscriber. It’s located on the right side of sanmarcosrecord.com below the videos section.