“Voter turnout in last week’s midterm elections was terrible. How terrible? Just 36.3 percent of eligible voters cast votes — the worst turnout in 72 years, the New York Times reports. Only the 1942 election (33.9 percent) had a lower rate of voter turnout.” – This was in a report I read on Yahoo! News early this morning. Unfortunately, anyone who reads online news is likely going to confirm that the articles are poorly written even when they get the facts right. I could not figure out, in this case, who to attribute the quote to.
But if it is telling the truth, we need to do something about it. When people go to the voting booth, they pick whichever candidate they feel will do the best job. Presumably, the major reasons for not going to the booth when you legally can would be that you either don’t think your vote matters, or you think there is no good choice. Instead of allowing our country to be run by people who barely get the majority of the votes of 36% of the voters (which in theory could be as little as 13% of the eligible voters, with 3 candidates on the ballot), making the choice not to vote should in itself be a form of voting. Either all ballots and all contests should include a “None of the Above” box, or any contest that fails to attract at least 65% of the electorate should be considered invalid.
Leaving things as they are now really does leave those who consider themselves “the elite” of our country in charge, and we’ve all seen how that is working out.