Increasingly Low Turnout, Increasingly More Often
Friday, November 13th, 2009
NEW YORK, NY – On Tuesday November 3rd, a minority of New Yorkers ventured to the polls to cast their ballots. There were more than a handful of elected posts up for grab, most notably Mayor, City Comptroller, Public Advocate and District Attorney. Much was at stake in these elections, not only in the City, but also in Virginia and New Jersey. Be it a weak economic outlook, increasing unemployment, health care, gun control, education, gay rights or a slew of other imperative issues, City voters by-and-large decided to stay quiet, stay home, and not vote.
At Why Tuesday?, we often remind folks that voting is the right upon which all other right are based. We also like to ask–while scratching our heads in amazement–ourselves, administrators, and our electeds, “Why?”
Why do we vote on Tuesday, why is turnout so low, and why hasn’t our voting system been upgraded?
In New Jersey for example, only 44% of registered voters cast ballots. That is less than 40% of the voting age population (VAP) or far less than the 64% of New Jerseyans who voted in 2008. In Virginia, turnout dipped below 40% for the first time in 40 years, and although we do not have official numbers yet, turnout in New York City’s election was approximately 25%.