Voter Turnout


Unlike most people who decry the low voter turnout – particularly in this “off-year” municipal election, with a turnout of 28% – I have no problem with people who don’t vote. First of all, it’s a basic issue of freedom: if you don’t want to vote, you don’t have to. Second of all, if somebody is fine with the status quo and has no real hard feelings (pro or con) about any of the major issues or candidates, then why should they vote? If they are cool with the way things are, then their decision to not vote reflects the line from a Rush song: “…if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.” And third, the lower the turnout, the more power MY vote has. And yours, too.

8 Comments

  • Todd (#)
    November 8th, 2007

    I agree with your main premise. What does concern me is that for the most part the people who do not vote will still be the ones that complain the loudest.

  • wolfpack (#)
    November 8th, 2007

    Dave- Of course you are 100% right. Why do people always confuse quantity with quality. I think it’s best that most 18 year olds don’t vote. What other important decisions would you seek out the opinion of the average teenager for?

  • displaced (#)
    November 9th, 2007

    Woah, wolfpack. I think the younger generations needs to have a voice, perhaps the loudest. If, for instance, you accept the premise that a coal-fired power plant is the key issue of this election, who does it affect the most? Is it the 60 yr olds, the 40 yr olds or the 20 yr olds who will have to deal with the air, and who will benefit from the jobs the most, and for the longest time? The young deserve a voice because the future is always impacted by today’s decisions. I would rather have the average teenager be armed with a ballot than a rifle, yet we send men and women that age to war every day.

  • firefly (#)
    November 9th, 2007

    They have a voice, displaced. How they chose to use it is up to them.

  • Wolfpack (#)
    November 9th, 2007

    displaced- I never said that the younger generation shouldn’t have a voice. I just think it’s a dumb idea to encourage voting for someone who has decided they don’t know enough about what is going on to vote. As David says to decide not to vote is a voluntary rational decision. Why disrespect that decision while you’re forcing your idea that they must vote on them? Besides that most people I know that think we need to get out the youth vote do so because they think the youth vote will align with their own. Kind of self serving not altruistic don’t you think? Also kind of telling when your opinions generally align with those who haven’t fully developed yet.

  • Thomas Jefferson (#)
    November 9th, 2007

    Let’s bring back the poll tax. That’s what you all are saying. The low turnout is a disgrace and this spin smacks of elitism, as if each of you are so informed. Not much different than withholding language from the slaves to keep them at bay.

    Helena did a much better job of getting out their voters, maybe our local election officials can get some ideas. Our efforts should be focused on driving the highest turnout possible and we should work in that direction much harder. Voter education, multiple day polls & weekend voting, ballots by mail. All these tools need to be used. Start by teaching children (again) in grade school.

    The politicos today calculate everything based on voter apathy. Time to turn the tables around, otherwise we will continue to get the bottom dwellers in office elected by special interest groups.

    I trust all the people over just a few.

  • wolfpack (#)
    November 9th, 2007

    TJ- Elitism? For myself, I am more informed now than when I was 18 and believe this to be true for most. Isn’t this true for you?

  • Thomas Jefferson (#)
    November 9th, 2007

    Wolfpack, this is own system and it needs to be utilized, not suppressed.

    More informed somehow equals more alive, more rights and more liberty? Sorry, that dog don’t hunt. 18 year olds have several more decades ahead than you(?) and me. They need to be engaged and we need to encourage them to vote. Not find reasons to hold them back.

    I would rather have elections decided by our total electorate over a handful a handful of know-it-alls. Talk about fools – he that claims such a position is the least knowledgeable – and not to be trusted!

    Elections decided by 1 out of 10 eligible voters is a disgrace. Look what you have to show for it. No Olive branch for you.

    Rolling in my grave,

    TJ

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