Things that Make Me Shake My Head: Low Voter Turn Out

vote-handsDC. DC. DC.  Another Democratic primary has come to an end and my friends in DC are divided when it comes to the results. Sadly, this election season is marred with controversy because of the current mayor who is embroiled in scandal. This is the legacy of DC politics. Corruption. Money. Nepotism. Cronies. Shadow campaigns. Alcohol. Drugs. Hos. (Ok maybe not the drugs and hos). It’s all very disturbing and unfortunately it turns many people off. Tuesday’s election showed a low voter turnout. This is not new by a long shot. DC has had a low voter turnout in the Primary season for decades. Growing up there I don’t remember many of my neighbors rushing to the polls or urging one another to vote. But they could talk politics on the porch like it was a brown-version of Meet the Press. Tuesday was particularly low. In 1994, 149,457 registered voters came out for mid term elections. This Tuesday’s total was 83,040 out of 369,037. What’s going wrong?

What troubles me about low voter turn out is that people say they just couldn’t decide who to trust. Why not? Are you paying attention to these politicians in the off season? Most of the candidates who run for office have been around for a minute. You may see them leading advocacy groups, community groups, homeowner associations, village boards, etc. Watch them!!! Politics can be very seductive and many people who start out in those positions move on to other, larger political spots. Today’s PTA president could be tomorrow’s County Executive.  Also, once these folks are elected, pay attention to things like the legislations they propose and the events they support. Look at community events that they sponsor or co-sponsor. Check out the groups/organizations that they actively participate in. If you follow them and research them enough you will know in your heart who you can trust.

Side note: I know I need to get up and follow my own advice. I can’t tell you who is running to represent my District right now. (That might be because I watch DC politics a little too much. What can I say? It’s fascinating!) But by the time I get to the voter’s booth, I will be pretty darn confident in the ballot I cast.

Three stars. Two Bars. One dire need for real change.





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