Showing posts from December, 2017

And the losers are...

Alabama election changes nothing

After the special election in Alabama to fill the state's empty seat in the US Senate, there's been a lot of talk about what the result means, what it predicts for the future, who is to blame, and on and on. None of those discussions have pay much attention to the actual numbers that matter.
Almost 3 million registered voters live in Alabama. Yet despite all the attention and hype and televised drama leading up to Election Night, only 1.3 million voters bothered to submit a ballot. Less than half of the folks who could have participated actually did.
Granted, special elections historically have a low turnout, but we didn't learn what a majority of people think or feel about the choice they offered. This was not a referendum on either person or party involved. All we learned was a confirmation of what we've known for a long time – there is no People's Democracy when less than half of the people are willing to take ownership of it.

It's the total turnout that will matter in Alabama...

The highly anticipated special election in Alabama is coming up on Tuesday, and the results will be used by either Republicans or Democrats to claim some kind of symbolic, long-term trend or another. Sadly, there will be no talk about the most important result of that evening – how large will the voter turnout be?
No national election in America can be used as a true gauge of the desires of the American people, as we have not had more than 65 percent of the eligible voters participate during the past half-century. Some years barely even half the electorate bother to do their civic duty. Now, after more than five decades of poor voter turnout, we really have no idea what the majority of voting-age citizens believe is the best way to govern ourselves.
What's worse, we don't know for certain if the votes in certain states are being counted honestly. When a digital system is used to collect votes and tally them up, that system is highly vulnerable to being hacked or manipulated in…