Voters -- Who Needs Them?

Categories: Get Off My Lawn

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What is it that people here have against voting? I'm thinking about the item I saw here yesterday about the Dallas City Council clamping down on campaign signs.

Right, we need to do everything we can to contain this voting thing. Fewer signs. Voter photo ID laws. Anything we can do to cut down the size of the mobs rushing to the polls to vote.

voteposter.jpg
Poster by Sarah Nelson Forss
In 2007 when Tom Leppert beat Ed Oakley for mayor of Dallas, voter turnout was 11 percent. Eleven percent! Can we even imagine how lousy that is?

In Wisconsin, 71 percent of registered voters go to the polls and vote. In Minnesota it's 75 percent.

We have 11 percent, and we're going for a lower number? It's like everybody's campaign strategy here is to see if he can keep the other guy's voters from leaving home on election day.

How about concentrating on getting your own damn guys to go vote for you?

All this legacy of aversion to voters is rooted in a bad history of racism, fear of poor white people and fear of Latinos. It's just amazing to me how much of it is still around.

I wish the candidates would cover the entire city with their signs. The test for getting to vote should be, "Hey, howya doin?"

If people don't like it, if they can't stand voters, they should go live in Syria. But hurry. People over there are catching the fever, too.

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32 comments
Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall

Vote for whoever makes an apperance at your local church and talks about family values

Mike Dunlap
Mike Dunlap

Assuming the 11% is generally distributed across the electorate, then that turnout is more than enough to produce an outcome statistically representative of the overall population.

Mike3647
Mike3647

Getting idiots to vote helps no one. People need to get educated about the candidates and issues and then go vote. Otherwise don't vote.

pak152
pak152

well i'm not surprised that the turnout is that high in Minnysoda especially when one remembers that many of Al Franken's votes were found in car trunks. as for Wisconsin you would think it would be higher since with same day registration it is easier for the unions to bus in new voters. no need to go to the cemetery and register the dead especially when the tombstones are buried under the snow

http://24ahead.com/possible-ma...

LaceyB
LaceyB

I really agree that they just want people to just stop voting. But, there is a Rawlins sign visibly perched outside Original Pancake House on Lemmon right before 75. Who's gonna call it in?

John McClelland
John McClelland

OMG don't even get me started on campaign signs. Candidates spend a good amount of money on signs, and then idiot opponents and/or their staff/supporters and/or election judges and/or city works take them down, steal them , stomp on them, etc. Having been a candidate in Dallas for office before (in 2007 as part of that paltry 11% turnout where I lost to Ron Natinsky) I can attest to this fact and it irritates me to no end. If it is on private property or at a polling place, you should be allowed to put up your signs as you please (within the state law). If they are placed in ridiculous places like medians, sure then throw them away. But otherwise leave it alone. In reality, signs do not win or lose elections. But they are definitely a necessity.

And speaking of the 11% turnout, it was only that high in 2007 because of the mayor's race. Most municipal elections in the area would love a turn out that high...which is sad. A lot of people like to complain about the President or Congress, but can't seem to be bothered to vote for state, county, or city governments that control to vast majority of your taxes and your daily lives. But then again being the president of a fresh water supply district board of directors, such as I am now in Denton County, doesn't sound sexy and most people don't even understand what one does.

Jay Hawk
Jay Hawk

Until Park Cities residents figure out how to vote for Dallas mayor and council, they'll just try to keep the numbers down.

MattL1
MattL1

I've always been torn on the voter turnout issue. On one hand, to get a TRULY representative government, the electorate needs to fully participate. Otherwise, our elected officials end up catering to a narrow slice of the population (not that they wouldn't do this anyway, but a guy can dream).

On the other hand, I'm not sure I want the future of this city decided by people who don't give a good goddamn, don't know anything about what's at stake, or can't be bothered to take 10 minutes out of their day to check a MF-ing box once every few years.

Either way, we're screwed. Now back to Royal Wedding coverage!

Jay D
Jay D

Jim's right. We don't need no stinking Election Code. In chasing the Holy Grail of increasing the percentage of voter participation, I suggest we give everyone three or four ballots for each election. Maybe we should pay ballot collectors a fee for each vote they collect (worked before). And why prevent illegal aliens from voting....after all, they live here too. And the dead should have ballots cast for them, hell, we all know how grand dad would have voted anyway.

With just a little more effort, we can aspire to Cuba's 100% voter participation. Of course, we'll end up with Cuban style government, but that's the long range goal of the one-party rule crowd anyway, right?

I personally won't be satisfied until 130% of the population casts straight party ballots in every election.

JimS
JimS

Anonymous: fair point, fair point, but when I look at the 2009 mayoral election in St. Paul, I still get a 22 percent turnout -- twice ours.http://www.co.ramsey.mn.us/NR/...So what are we doing to increase viter participation?

scottindallas
scottindallas

Our leaders have generally only supported Democracy in rhetoric not in practice.

TimCov
TimCov

I don't have a problem with campaign signs, as long as they come down after the election. I say give the campaigns a week to take down their signs. After that, the candidate and/or campaign gets fined $50 per sign that is still up and the city takes them down.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Come on. Apples and oranges. You're comparing the % turnout during a very hotly contested national election cycle (including non-incumbent President) to a local mayoral runoff? I get your point, but why do you complain about politicians in this city treating us as if we're idiots? You apparently enjoy doing the same thing to your readers.

scottindallas
scottindallas

How can you so smugly assume that? There is a vast difference in turnout along age lines and income. Both figures skew to favor the status quo. Considering the very generational budget challenge we face today, where the income tax earners have taken 2.4 trillion from the payroll payers. Considering that this is the first year that SS has failed to bring in more money that it pays out--the entirety of the 14 trillion dollar debt falls at the feet of income tax payers not funding our wars, which amount to fully $8 trillion that we've spent "securing the Middle East for oil" since Nixon. In that time tax rates on the highest earners fell in half from 70% to 35%. The income tax payers have some 'splaining to do.

Jay
Jay

But of the 11%, about 90% were named Medrano, and they all lived at the same address. Coincidence?

shamrock
shamrock

not in a town where voter fraud is rampant

Tad Banyon
Tad Banyon

Great idea. Except that for many people, an "education" amounts to soaking up as much Limbaugh (or the liberal equivalent, if there is one) as possible. The most ignorant are those who think they've got it all figured out based on what their favorite partisan pundit says.

Harvey
Harvey

It doesn't help they're forced to contend with voting for judges they never even heard of so they're compelled to vote straight ticket. Makes ya tingly with the feeling of democracy at work.

JimS
JimS

Jay D: you are what I mean. You think more voting means less justice. I guess you're right if you mean justice for old white people in three cornered hats who think Obama came from Mars.

AynRand
AynRand

There is obviously going to be a large difference in the participation in a local versus a national election. Yet, JimS posts numbers without including that important detail of what is being compared, attributing a 71% to 11% difference completely to voter suppression efforts.

JimS has essentially admitted above to posting half truths such as to push a false conclusion. He could have honestly reported 22% vs 11%, but chose to mislead.

So much for the integrity of JimS.

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

Ah..... certain organizations send large checks to certain people in South Dallas, I believe. The voter "participation" is available in varying sizes: from 100 to a few thousand votes.

Bob
Bob

JimS,

Our county is hard at work to increase the number of voters via absentee ballot ala Chicago. Should be interesting.

Heywood U Buzzoff
Heywood U Buzzoff

@Anon -- voters turn out to vote when they feel they can make a difference. Leppert was pretty the much same as the others. National elections, in the terminology of a popular TV show, are between a giant douche and a turd sandwich. Dallas mayoral elections are between lemon-lime douche and lime-lemon douche -- Not much of a difference between them so why make the effort to vote.

Susie Castillo
Susie Castillo

Ouch! I haven't seen a spanking like that since I had a rough pat down at the airport

stupidisasstupiddoes
stupidisasstupiddoes

Wait, I thought we were supposed to be talking about NON-PARTISAN municipal elections here...

Jay D
Jay D

Sorry to disappoint you Jim. My convictions are a figment of your imagination.I'm a tax payer, but I'm not a Tea Party supporter. In fact, I think spending cuts should be linked to tax increases. Local, state and federal. I'm a social moderate and fiscal conservative, but I'm not a Republican or Democrat.I'm not a Birther, never have been. I'm not in the "Obama is a Muslim crowd." A Muslim wouldn't sit through 20 years of Jeremiah Wright sermons, now would he?I do believe elections should have rules, like preventing campaign signs on precinct grounds, or say, election judges related to candidates.I also wish voters had more than just a vague idea who is actually running before they vote, but of course we don't want to disenfranchise the ignorant, now do we?

Anonymous
Anonymous

Remember when I posted that same thing, like 2 hours ago?

stupidisasstupiddoes
stupidisasstupiddoes

That is one of the dumbest things that I have ever read. Make a difference in what? Voting for President doesn't make a difference in anything, not even on who the President turns out to be, and everyone knows that.

You want your trash picked up, your libraries open, your neighborhoods safe, your sewage flowing away from your house and not spewing out into the streets, you CAN make a difference in local elections. GOTV drives are not nearly as active in local elections and there are many, many registered voters who turned out once for a Presidential election because of GOTV, but who will never vote for a city council person. Candidates don't bother wasting their time with those voters.

DoubleOJoe
DoubleOJoe

Candidate Jack Johnson: 'It's time someone had the courage to stand up and say, "I'm against all those things everybody hates!"'

Candidate John Jackson: 'Now, I don't want to denigrate my opponent. I think he's a good man. But frankly, I agree with everything he just said!'

Tad Banyon
Tad Banyon

"I also wish voters had more than just a vague idea who is actually running before they vote, but of course we don't want to disenfranchise the ignorant, now do we?"

I find that many voters who believe they have a very good idea about who is running and what they stand for are just as painfully ignorant, victims of spin and hyperbole and talking points, which is not to be confused with understanding and critical thinking. How many people who are ultimately going to end up paying more themselves or finding themselves out of work because of massive budget cuts think the wealthy are always overtaxed, because they've heard it repeated over and over again by handsome John Boehner? Like you, I'm not crazy about people voting who don't know anything about the issues, but frankly I'm not very impressed with a lot of the people who feel like they do.

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