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As We See It

Where’s the turnout?

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No one is shocked the projected turnout numbers for this election cycle are significantly lower than those of the last. Presidential elections always propel more voters to the polls—80.2 percent in 2008 and 77.4 percent in 2004. Compare those to results of the last two non-presidential elections—59.1 percent in 2006 and 58.9 percent in 2002. Secretary of State Ross Miller told the Las Vegas Sun he’s predicting a voter turnout of 60 percent this time—only a slight increase over the last midterm cycle. This despite heavy campaigning and the national spotlight on the senatorial race between Majority Leader Harry Reid and Sharron Angle. When the entire country is scrutinizing the state’s election and that still isn’t enough to compel us to vote, is there anything that will? Perhaps the more important question is: Why don’t people care in the first place? It doesn’t help when they’re encouraged to be apathetic, as in the short-lived but memorable TV ad urging Latino voters to refrain from voting in order to send a message to Democrats about their failure to act on immigration issues. We’ve all seen political promises go unfulfilled, and yes, that’s frustrating as hell. Still, the answer is never doing nothing. Vote for the lesser evil, if that’s how you feel, or opt for “none of these candidates.” Now that’s a statement.

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