Wednesday, October 21, 2015

If You Don't Vote, You Can't Win

Dear Millenials: If you are somehow still wondering why your local government politicians are invariably the kind of folks elected by old cranky conservatives, it's because you do not give enough of a damn to vote in local elections.

Researchers at Oregon's Portland State University released a report this summer outlining patterns among voters in local elections utilizing voting data from four cities: Charlotte, Detroit, Portland and Saint Paul. Unsurprisingly, they found that most people are not voting in local elections. Only about 30 percent of registered voters cast their ballots for mayor in the course of the study. 
The most striking conclusions from the report, however, highlight the huge gap in voter-participation rates between younger and older voters. The odds of a voter aged 65 or older casting a ballot in a mayoral election compared to a voter aged 18-34 were as high as 19 to 1 in the primary and 13.8 to 1 in the general election. Even more distressing is that these voting-odds ratios were commonly as high as 20 to 50 to 1 in some of the four cities' census tracts.

So yeah, you think your Mayor, city council members, county commissioners, and school board members are all douchebags?  Cool.

Did you actually vote in your city's local election?  Answer is no.  You're being outvoted as much as 50 to one by aging Boomers, so guess what?  They get what they want, and they make you pay for it all.

Until people under 35, or even people under 50, start giving a damn about more than just presidential races, the old folks who vote GOP will control your town, your county, and much of your state.

Are there any local races where you live coming up here in two weeks?  Election Day is right around the corner.  For Kentucky it's the Governor's race but other races will be decided like Attorney General and Agriculture Commissioner.  Is there a race for Mayor where you live?  School board? County Commission?

You don't know?

Better find out.  Better yet, go vote in two weeks.

Better yet, bring your friends.

Unless you like getting outvoted 50 to 1.

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