s skippy the bush kangaroo: It Starts With Voter Apathy...

skippy the bush kangaroo

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

It Starts With Voter Apathy...

We had local elections in Hudson, New Hampshire on the 13th. A total of 2,340 ballots were cast (pdf warning -- sorry 'bout this), which works out to around 17 percent of the town's eligible voters bothering to show up, according to the town's website. Granted, it's difficult at best to get excited about stuff like cemetery trustee and checklist supervisor races, but 17 percent voter turnout is just plain dismal, whether you live in a Hudson-sized town, or a village of one hundred, or Los Angeles.

One of the bigger problems with the great majority of voters staying home on any election day is that a small minority of people will determine the winners. For the two selectman positions, for example, Ben Nadeau received 1,004 votes and Nancy Brucker got 894. In effect, Nadeau won with a mere 7.3 percent of the eligible vote, and Brucker won with only 6.5 percent. Hardly representive samples of the voting population, even if they did win fair and square.

That may not seem like a big deal on the local level. But when there's nonsense like what's going on in Pennsylvania -- one party claiming to be combatting voter fraud while attempting to disenfranchise people who are likely to vote for the other party's candidates -- staying home doesn't seem quite so innocuous. If anything, it may encourage those who would suppress people's votes, given the opportunity.

Voter access isn't worth much if it isn't utilized...


posted by Jim Yeager at 7:41 PM |


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