Posted October 5, 2012 03:01 pm - Updated October 6, 2012 10:42 pm

Is 25% (updated to 31.9%) the best we can do?

  Juneau has its Super Voters who never miss an election. We have the “I’m too busy” voters, the “What election?” voters, the “My vote doesn’t matter” voters, and, I guess, as much as it pains me to say so, there are the “I don’t care” voters.

  In this week’s Juneau municipal election, 25.4% of voters (6,231 out of 24,565) showed up at the polls to vote for our Mayor, City Assembly, School Board, and two important propositions. These elected officials touch all our lives in some way. We won’t know the final results until the Absentee and questioned ballots are counted, but the turnout was lousy by any standard. (Update: final results were 31.9%.)

  Lynn Canal and North Douglas voters deserve a pat on the back. They cast more ballots per precinct than all the others.  Lemon Creek and Mendenhall Valley #1 (the airport area) voters pulled up the rear. Only 20.8% of Lemon Creek voters and just 21% of voters in Mendenhall Valley #1 went to the polls on October 2nd.  

  There are consequences to every election. Today’s Juneau Empire front page headline reads, “Eaglecrest waits for final vote count on bond”.  So far, there are just 57 more votes against the $25 million bond than are for it. Five districts voted yes (3,037), and eight districts voted no (3,094).  

  Now we wait for the tally of absentee and questioned ballots to discover who our next Mayor will be, and whether or not Proposition 1 squeaked through. Just 660 votes separate mayoral candidates Merrill Sanford and Cheryl Jebe.

  Lots of numbers, but elections are a numbers game. November 6th is just one month away. Set an alarm reminder on your cell phone. On election day, tell your friends on Facebook and Twitter to vote. Instagram yourself voting.

  If you’re worried you’ll forget, ask a friend to give you a call. If you have small children, bring them with you. Voting doesn’t take long, and you can make it a “teaching moment”. If you work long hours, the polls are open from 7:00 a.m. until 8:00 pm. If you don’t know where to vote, call 1-888-383-8683.

  Let’s push that voter turnout number up. After you vote on Tuesday, November 6, 2012, wear your “I VOTED” sticker with pride all day long. I’ll give you another nudge next month. You’re welcome.

Interesting take on voting in the Oct. 6, 2012 New York Times:




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