Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Extremely Low Turnout In Oregon's Mail-In Primary A Disgrace

So far the very poor rate of ballot returns in Oregon's mail-in primary is running at only a 25-33% rate. This is a very poor rate of ballot returns for an election that could not have been made much easier by mail-in ballots that can be filled out at home at one's own leisure. With all of this time to study the candidates and positions, there is plenty of time to research facts and cast an informed vote based on one's own preferences.

Other than researching the candidates, and making the effort to use a #2 pencil or pen to darken the ovals next to the candidates, and placing a stamp on the ballot, little else is required to vote in Oregon. The process has been made very simple. There are no polling booths, waiting in line, or having to arrange some time before or after work.

Unlike voters in Iraq, there are no suicide bombers in Oregon. Unlike Iraq, there is no chance of being kidnapped and become a victim of sectarian violence. Unlike Iraq, there is little chance that women will become a sexual crime victim on the way to cast a vote. Voting in Oregon could not be much safer or much easier, yet most voters apparently aren't bothering to do it.

Unlike many in Iraq, most Oregonians are capable of reading and writing. Unlike many in Iraq, most in Oregon have electricity to be able to read their ballot. Yet the percentage of voters in Iraq is far higher than in Oregon.

You would think that high gas prices, school funding proposals, or other issues would moltivate voters to vote. Even very low income voters have important issues at stake such as food stamps, public health care, or other social welfare benefit cutbacks that heavily depend on who the next Oregon Governor and legislature is. But few even bother to vote.

It is certainly nothing more than a disgrace that many in Oregon cannot find the time to cast a ballot to protect the interests that they hold dear. Almost everyone complains of things such as high gas prices, war, or other issues, yet few bother to cast a ballot. In the year 2000, if only a little more than 500 persons voted for Al Gore, and he won Florida's electoral votes, gas would likely still be $1.59 a gallon, and the U.S. would not be involved in the Iraq War. But it was too much effort for some to vote, so we have what we've got right now.

A friend of mine who lives a very miserable life on disability who is handicapped complained to me about possible cutbacks of his disability benefits. I asked him, "Well you voted for those who tend to support your benefits didn't you?"

"Well, no".

I told him, "Well, there you go".

When people couldn't bother to vote against Bush in 2000 and 2004, it was a vote to double their gas prices and kill many sons and some daughters in Iraq. Voting does matter.


Post a Comment

<< Home