Scary Thoughts on Halloween

What if they held an election and no one came out to vote? Now that is a scary thought. However, it is very close to reality in this year’s elections.

Voter turnout numbers in early vote locations are low. Most pundits are comparing them to the 2009 elections where we had a heated Mayor’s race on the top of the ballot and noting a significant drop in voter turnout. However, an important note is that turnout in that election was low, embarrassingly so.

What is it with you voters in Houston? Recently, I was serving on a panel and was discussing the anticipated low voter turnout. A person in the audience said that turnout is low because people are satisfied. I guess that is one way of looking at it but really, people, this is ridiculous.

How about the “my vote doesn’t matter” theory? In city elections, races have been won with fewer than 50 votes. In a race like District B with 10 grass-roots candidates, every single vote matters significantly. It is likely that the margin between the top finishers will be razor thin.

Folks, we are guaranteed to elect 5 new Council Members due to term limits and two new additional seats. At-Large 5 with incumbent Jolanda Jones is a hotly contested race and all but one of the incumbent City Council Members has opponents.

You know what is really scary……. the default of democracy. We live in a democracy and have a representative government. Half way around the world, people are sacrificing their lives for the right to select their own leaders and then doing so.

Yet, at home, we are too lazy to get up, cast a ballot and take ownership of our government.

I’ve voted. Have you?

Don’t be scared to cast your ballot………

2 Comments

  1. In the area of “public choice” (once upon a time I taught it) there is the “rational voter theory.” It confirms that because of the high cost of information, voters frequently “don’t bother” to vote if they are happy. If they are miserable, then they’ll invest the time to figure out whom to vote for. It’s part of the economics of information.

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    http://www.economics-finance.org/jefe/econ/Lawsoncebulapaper.pdf

  2. [...] such I don’t know how much there is to learn from turnout levels in the 1990s. But given the concerns about poor turnout that some folks have expressed, I thought I’d take a look and see what’s [...]

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