On November 2, we did our good-citizen duty and went to the public school where we regularly cast ballots whenever an election turns up, and we cast said ballots, and all was well. But it turns out that the majority of New Yorkers did not do this. In fact, according to the United States Election Project at George Mason University, reports the New York Times, a mere 32.1 percent of the 13.4 million people eligible to vote (you know, older than 18, not felons) actually did so.
So, yeah, it’s only a midterm. But Utah and Texas passed us by! The overall average for turnout nationally was 40 percent. The Times reports,
New York ranked among the 10 lowest states for turnout in 2006 and 2008, but until this year it was not at the bottom.
Embarrassing. We’re supposed to have opinions! We’re New Yorkers!
So, why the sad turnout? Some say “uncompetitive elections,” and it’s true, most of them went the way we thought they would. A Jimmy McMillan upset, for instance, would have shocked us to our core. As would a Carl Paladino win. Everyone, in essence, thought they knew what would happen, so few bothered to do anything about it. Also cited are a lack of convenient voter registration and early voting options, not educating the immigrant population about voting, and the general “nastiness” of the political year.
Still, we know it’s nerdy, but the satisfaction of filling out those bubbles and thrill of sliding your ballot through the machine…well, it doesn’t come around every year, you know. Try it! You can reward yourself with a cocktail afterward.