primary colors

Primary season is finally over in CT. (Only 82 more days until the November elections!)
The New Milford results are in. And while there's nothing particularly surprising about how the town voted, I am shocked at the low turnout.
According to the tallies at the Danbury News-Times:
1497 registered Republicans voted for a senate candidate.
929 registered Democrats voted for a gubernatorial candidate.
That's only 2416 people, out of a town with some 30,000 souls (nearly 18,000 eligible voters, according to the Housatonic Times).

There are, I'm sure, several reasons for the low turnout.
-It's a primary, not a general, so people aren't as plugged in as they should be.
-It's a mid-term election, so people aren't as fired up as they would be for a presidential race.
-It's summer, and people are out of town.
-There were more Republican races (did I hear some guy named Marty was running for probate judge?), so Democrats weren't as interested.
-Because it's a primary, where one must vote within their own party, independents were left out.

But you know what? All of those reasons suck. There is absolutely no reason for New Milford voters to sit an election out.
I am always amazed at the number of people who refuse their responsibilities as citizens by opting out of election. And then feel they have a legitimate reason to complain about the state of affairs. Voting is the responsibility that comes with our constitutional rights. To shirk that responsibility is downright disrespectful. To the constitution, to the republic, to one's fellow citizens, and to one's self.
That's particularly so in these off-year elections and primaries, when each vote counts more, since only a single state, or district, or town, is in play.
I've heard people say, "Well, all the candidates for office X are bums, so I won't vote at all." Which makes as much sense as John Boehner explaining his devotion to both reducing the deficit and extending the Bush tax cuts for the uber-wealthy. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/08/john_boehner_talks_tax_cuts.html
(But, if I had a nickel for every time I've heard someone say something completely ridiculous about politics, I could probably buy myself a senate seat.)
If you want any say in how your government works, educate yourself about the candidates, and then choose one.
If you believe in free speech, exercise yours at the ballot box.
If you want to earn the moniker of "patriot," get off your butt and go to the polls.

If you don't vote, you're just part of the problem.
Here's hoping the turnout numbers are much, much higher in November.


Anonymous said...

Maybe they are waiting for the general election because the candidate they support didn't have a primary



- Alice Marshall
Campaign Manager
Mosler for Senate

CT Fair and Balanced said...

Your point about the independent (or unaffiliated) voters is probably the big X factor here. I's and U's are left out of the primaries, and R's can't vote for D's (and vice versa). This leaves a lot of voters with nowhere to go.

I might be wrong about this, but I believe NM has more registered indies/unaffils than R's or D's. This probably accounts for low primary turnout.

Lastly, of course, you can blame the local Donkey leadership for failure to do anything (i.e. turn out the vote). The R's did a good job of getting people to the polls to support their boy Marty, and their girl Linda McM. As usual, the Donkey's were busy playing Donkey Kong, or counting the dead bodies in the funeral home. Useless.

gimlet eyes said...

@anonymous and fair and balanced:
while I agree that the closed primary voting does limit the pool of potential voters, I am hard pressed to believe that 15,500 out of 18,000 potential voters in one zipcode are independents.

CT Fair and Balanced said...

lol - good point.

I guess the avg. joe didn't understand the HUGE impact the probate judge election would have on their lives.

Connecticut Man1 said...

A plurality of voters in CT are not affiliated with any party. Dems have slightly increased voter registration but have still been far outpaced by the unaffiliated voters, while GOP registration has actually been a shrinking pool.

Those are trends based on the last few elections in CT - and may have changed slightly more recently - but the fact remains that trends suggest that soon there will be more unaffiliated voters than both the Dem and GOP registered combined.

It is a political reality that both of the major parties will either have to deal with or risk losing their place as a "major" party in the future.

Anonymous said...

Disappointing but not surprising the low turnout of Dem's. When can we vote out that blowhard Roger Szendy. He is absolutely positively worthless! Says cut the budget but offers no solutions. How the Reps tolerate him I have no idea.

Pants on Fire said...

The "Szend-master" is not even the worst of the bunch. Guendelsberger doesn't live in New Milford (has a lake home in Brookfield), and Ray O'Brien has been on the council for around 30 years. Esposito is a loose cannon who greets you with one hand while stabbing your back with the other. Bass only does what certain local builders tell him to do. And lawyer Buck-Taylor has quit every board she's ever been on (BOE, EDC, and others).

And the Mayor sits at the head of the table of fools. They all need to go!

libhom said...

The Democrats are governing so much like Republicans that it is hardly shocking that Democratic voters are demoralized and staying home.