Monday, September 27, 2004

Voter Poll

I asked some friends about their voting habits. It was by no means a scientific polling, I mean, I got like a 40% return. The Gallup organization should fall at my feet...except that I polled like people. And I'm counting myself in that response percentage.

Nonetheless I did identify a pattern. We are more likely to vote in a nationwide election than in something local.

My concerns with this are twofold.

First, as important as I think it is to vote in any election I have to admit that my vote in a nationwide election is a drop in the bucket. And we're talking a 10 gallon pickle tub here. A local election has fewer votes. In the right town a school board vote can be decided by one vote and that vote could be yours. Not to mention the fact that you're going to be even more closely affected by the outcome of these votes.

Second, a reason that I'm hearing for not voting in smaller elections is that we don't feel informed enough. By some transitive property does this mean that we do feel better informed for a national election? If we're true to form in our research we're getting our information on these nationwide elections from commercials, the occasional press conference, and maybe an article on the web. So, we're better informed by political commercials? Have we WATCHED political commercials?! Propaganda does not make for good education.

I can hear you asking, "Well great, you've identified more problems, what about solutions you big downer?"

Well, I'd say that the local politician that could inform a local voter without pissing them off would be on to something. I don't know how one would do that. A nice half hour sitcom? This is the girl who learned more about politics and foreign policy from The West Wing than from anything else in her life.

Suggestions are welcome.

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