Elections? Outcomes? Voting?
Elections? Outcomes? Voting?
Did YOU vote last Tuesday? Why do so few eligible citizens vote? What is YOUR evaluation of the outcomes of the elections last Tuesday? Why so many uncontested elections? What is the meaning of so many WRITE-IN campaigns? What do YOU think?
I have been reflecting on the elections held last Tuesday. Happy to read the Gazette's editorial today, "Tuesday voting deserves pause for reflections." (see p. 6A, The Janesville Gazette - sorry, not able to provide a link.)
After commenting on various election rsults, the Gazette editorial reflects on election turnout, "Finally, the election turnout was sad. The Gazette pours vast resources into chronicling candidates because thatís a vital part of a newspaperís roleóand it always will be. We take that job seriously. Yet only about 16 percent of Rock Countyís estimated eligible voters, and 22 percent of the 98,000 registered voters, bothered to do their civic duty.
"Thatís disappointing, indeed. Most people make a habit of criticizing elected leaders. Itís hard to imagine how those who donít take time to vote can justify doing so."
I agree! Do YOU?
I was surprised by the number of WRITE-INS on the ballots last Tuesday. WHY do YOU think so many persons chose to use the WRITE-IN rather than the regular petition process? I read about YURI RASHKIN's write-in campaign with his rationale. He reported in his blog, "Itís the morning after the spring election and I am so grateful and appreciative to the more than 800 people in Janesville who took the time to write my name in on the ballot, yesterday." What does the outcome of Rashkin's write-in campaign say about WRITE-IN campaigns? Do voters have MORE confidence in candidates who are ON the ballot following the nomination petition process? Are MOST write-ins used when there is a candidate who is UNcontested?
That leads to the inquiry, "WHY were there so many UNcontested offices?" My comment would be that the MILTON SCHOOL BOARD election - the NON-election - with ONLY 2 incumbents running was due to "THE MESS" which the incumbents had participated in creating and NO ONE wanted to try to clean-up "THE MESS." What do YOU think?
Finally, I am really interested to read your comments as to WHY so few ELIGIBLE CITIZENS do NOT register to vote AND why so few of those REGISTERED voters do NOT vote. What is YOUR evaluation?
Since this was the LAST ELECTION in 2013, we have time to reflect and discuss. Several media were commenting on the fact that this was the LAST ELECTION of 2013 in contrast to the multiple elections in 2012!
Here we go...
John W. Eyster lives in the Edgerton area. He is an adjunct professor of political science at UW-Whitewater and an advocate for Project Citizen, a model curriculum for democracy/civics education in Wisconsin high schools. John is a community blogger and is not a part of The Gazette staff. His opinion is not necessarily that of the The Gazette staff or management.