Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Electing No One

Today is Election Day here in the U.S.A. It is not a presidential election year, so we are voting for local folks. The ones who really affect our day-to-day lives.

Except I had no choices on the ballot. Every single person, from the state House of Delegates to State Senator to local sheriff, was running unopposed. There really wasn't any point in voting.

Having never missed a vote, I voted anyway. I chose to write in names for folks I am not happy with, as did many other people I know. At least the incumbents won't get 100 percent of the vote, not that 100 percent of the registered voters will have voted. I bet the turn out is abysmal.

Locally there are a few races that matter, just not in my district. Not far from us we have a Crotch Brothers candidate trying to unseat a long-standing Democrat. Turning out to vote matters there.

When your vote makes no difference, I am not sure what you call it, but I do not call it democracy. In fact, I wore solid black to the voting both, to protest the death of democracy. Not that anybody asked.

Locally, the Republicans have a stranglehold on most of the seats. At the state level, this is in a large part due to gerrymandering. My state senator serves an area that has multiple interests and little in common from one end to the other. To be honest, I didn't even know the guy on the ballot was my state senator. I thought it was another fellow. I guess this happened in 2010 when the legislature created its new districts. That process is now being challenged in court because the districts were found to be less than honorable, to put it mildly.

My county has been red for a long time. Folks seeking lower taxes moved in in the 1990s and brought with them their desires for more government services somehow paid for out of thin air. We've had some real winners on the local governing board in the last 15 years. They represented somebody, but they did not represent me. I was a news reporter at the time and had to keep my opinions to myself.

Why aren't there people willing to run for office? For one thing, it's not a regular person's game anymore. Unless you're a millionaire plus, you may as well forget it. Even at the local level, you have to spend thousands to get what you're after. For another, the election process has become as vicious as vultures pecking out the eyes of a calf. If you have the least little crack in your life's history, the opposition will break it open until your guts are strewn all over the floor.

Who wants to deal with that?

Twenty years ago, the candidates for the local board ran as independents, every one. And then the political parties crept into it, and all was lost. Once that game started, there has been nothing to do but sit back and watch the dive into divisiveness and derision. No amount of sanity is going to save us now.

So go vote. I voted to honor the women who lived before me, who died so that I might exercise my right to write-in the name of a candidate, even if that person will only receive the single vote I cast. It is your civic duty, even if you're as jaded and as regretful as I am over the way the process is handled today.

Go vote because it is the right thing to do. And don't hesitate to write in Daffy Duck if you don't like the candidate.



2 comments:

  1. It is the right thing to do. Sometimes the choices just stink.

    ReplyDelete
  2. We had no elections here yesterday, though a couple neighboring communities had what they termed "minor" elections. Considering how much we've already been inundated by the presidential race still a year off, it's no wonder American voters tend to be apathetic by the time the election rolls around. I am already tired of hearing about it. :-\

    ReplyDelete

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