Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Seven Percent

Yesterday, primary municipal elections were held in Los Angeles, and turnout was abysmal. In a city of 4 million inhabitants, most City Council members were elected with a total of less than 4,000 votes. Only 1,200 voters took advantage of early voting opportunities and absentee ballots were still outnumbered by those cast in person. Here's how yesterday's turnout fits in with the general trend for primary municipal elections in Los Angeles County:

1999: 16%
2003: 13%
2007: 7%

At this rate, nobody will vote at all in 2015. Runoffs for 3 positions will be held on May 15... lord only knows what the turnout will be.


Raised By Republicans said...

LA has a strange habbit of scheduling it's elections at odd times. They could boost turnout quite a bit if they just scheduled their elections to coincide with state or federal ones. It doesn't surprise me at all that turn out for local by-election in March is low.

The Law Talking Guy said...

OK. I'm an Angeleno, but I did not vote yesterday. There was one race that mattered, a school board race, and the Union and Villaraigosa had agreed that my district would not be a battleground. I had no idea how these two stood, and the LA Times didn't tell me. I chose not to vote. Very rare for me, but that was my choice.

In the 2003 adn 1999 municipal primary election, by contrast, most of the city council races were wide open (term limits) and the primaries were big news.

RBR is right - if they scheduled the elections to coincide with other ones, it would work much, much better.

USwest said...

In addition to the bad timing, could it be that civil society in this country has taken a huge hit over the last 8 years? When people don't feel like they have a steak, they don't vote. I think people look at city councils and laugh.

There is no leadership, no one representing us. Our complaints have been met with pure, unadulterated indifference.

Apathy is high; the LA elections are an indication of just how high. As they say in "Yes, Minister" (since RBR referred to it the other day), the idea is too make it look like activity is taking place, but to make sure nothing happens as a result. Never confuse movement with progress.

Dr. Strangelove said...

Mmmm... steak. :-)

Raised By Republicans said...

I'd vote for steak!

USwest said...

I was -Hungary- when I wrote that post.