Discuss: Why aren't more people voting?
For all of the hoopla that surrounds every election, especially in a presidential year, why was particpation in Tuesday's primary so anemic? The tally was around 27 percent of registered voters, with some ballots to count that might bump the numbers, but not dramatically improve them.
Election prognosticators were thinking in the mid-40 percent range. Nope. So what is it? Mail balloting was expected to improve participation over going to the polls. After all, lots of people were already using that euphemism of the absentee ballot. They were voting by mail, period.
Is August a bad choice for a primary? Summer vacations and all that. Washington used to vote closer to the general election, and no one liked that. Some states vote in late spring, and that gets mixed reviews. Politicians complain it bumps up against legislative sessions, and voters say the primary is too far away from the general in November.
Be candid all you nonvoters, why did you not send in your ballots? Were you turned off by the candidates, the campaigns, the money, the news coverage? No urgent topics in play? Maybe it was just plain old fatigue with too many other things to worry about during bumpy economic times.
How can voter participation be improved? OK, lets get creative. How about if you cast your ballot, your name is entered into a lottery. Think the voters numbers would improve?
Achenblog by Joel Achenbach
Postman On Politics