Mark Trahant: Kicking democracy in the pants

"We can do elections better.

This "off year" election was supposed to give us guidance on critical issues facing the region and state, everything from transportation to governance.

I am angry about this election. And it's not because of the results -- although that was an issue, too. It's because so few citizens participated.

The majority didn't bother. This is in sharp contrast to the prediction of Secretary of State Sam Reed, who expected a 51 percent turnout of registered voters. "Across the state," he wrote, "voters will decide many crucial measures. More people vote at home than ever before and we know without a doubt voting by mail increases turnout."

Not this year. Fewer than a half of registered voters cast ballots either by mail or at the polls. The actual percentage in terms of adult citizens who should be voting is even less than that.

It's ironic: People on the other side of the globe are marching in the streets to gain the right to vote. While we prefer entertainment to political engagement; we know more about Britney than Benazir."

Get the Story:
Democracy needs a kick in the pants (The Seattle Post-Intelligencer 11/11)

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