Depressing News

Despite what some people may think, my outlook on life is not based on how politically active my fellow citizens are. If it was, this report from the Deseret News would have made today really lousy.

Utah now has the nation’s worst voting participation rates.

We should have participation closer to 65% like Minnesota rather than 36%. We should also have more than 58% voter registration (in fact we should have more than the 67% national average).

About David

David is the father of 8 extremely organized children (4 girls / 4 boys) who is constantly seeking answers to tough questions related to parenting, education and politics while moonlighting for 40 hours each week as a technology professional. He also enjoys cooking, gardening, and sports.
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Comments

6 Responses to Depressing News

  1. Reach Upward says:

    People make decisions based on what gets them the most bang for their buck. Ditto when it comes to investing time. Each of us is a micro-economist in this respect.

    The fact of the matter is that most Utahns avoid political activity because they anticipate little return for their investment. Despite admonitions from the pulpit and repeated stories about the worth of each vote, most Utahns know that their individual vote will make little difference.

    Not only do they think that in most cases the same person would win anyway, they also think that it wouldn’t really matter which candidate won in most races. I too am not immune from grousing about the limited differences between the major parties.

    Utahns see no value in bothering with political involvement when they could invest their time in things that they believe make a bigger difference in their lives. It would be different if they had a real sense that their votes actually meant something.

  2. If all the Utahns who thought their votes didn’t mean anything actually voted for someone (read: a non-Establishment candidate), we’d have the Powers that Be reeling in their tracks. If all the Utahns who liked Mitt Romney because he’s Mormon would actually look at his record it might actually cause them to put some thought into their vote. They would have instead voted for someone like Dennis Kucinich or Ron Paul. Someone who’s not a cookie-cutter establishment robot.

  3. David says:

    Sadly, I have to agree that you don’t get much effect for your vote in Utah because the electorate so consistently favors one side of most arguments here. The thing that makes the difference for me is that my perspective on political involvement goes beyond looking at the effect of my vote on the outcome of elections. After all, why vote in November when 90% of the winners can accurately be predicted in June?

    My perspective, the one that drives me to stay active in the face of small public returns, is that the process of becoming informed and casting my vote is one that changes me. My endless desire for higher rates of participation is based on my belief that more people becoming truly involved – not just in casting their vote, but in educating themselves on the issues and candidates – will change our society and correspondingly change they way we approach and run our government entities.

  4. Reach Upward says:

    I agree. Getting involved at the grass roots is where you can make a lot of difference — a lot more than you make when voting in November. However, a lot of Utahns are blase about that because they aren’t seriously displeased with the status quo. (That’s why they won’t vote per Frank’s suggestions.) They are OK with others being involved so that they don’t have to. Some people I know kind of look at it as a form of outsourcing.

  5. David says:

    The idea that you can outsource your political decision making is downright un-American. That is a great evidence that “Americans are made, not born.”

    In my mind you can’t be a true American citizen unless you are willing to take charge of your own government. Just because you are satisfied with the current direction does not mean that you should not make your voice heard to that effect. That sounds to me like arguing that you don’t need to have a bus driver unless the bus begins to swerve in the lane.

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