ESSAY: Most of you suck at democracy

Oh, really? [Courtesy of sarachicad.]


On Tuesday, I voted in the same classroom I’ve cast ballots in since 2008. On the white board, someone had written, “Jesus wants to be your best friend. Will you let him?” next to a drawing of a frowning cloud. I briefly considered writing in “Satan” for governor, but am glad now that I didn’t.

With such a pathetic turnout, the devil might have actually won.

Only 17.7 percent of Sacramento County’s registered voters—122,053 people total—cast ballots in yesterday’s statewide primary, a new low according to local elections data. In fact, local voter turnout easily out-shamed the previous low, when 29.9 percent of registered voters cast ballots in the June 2008 statewide primary. That’s the worst in 78 years, going back to when the office began tracking data in August 1936.

For California as a whole, 18.3 percent of eligible voters participated yesterday. Tiny, right-wing Alpine and Sierra counties had the best statewide turnouts, at 69.5 percent and 64 percent, respectively.

That means the only people who bothered voting were the nuts who want to install traffic signals inside every uterus and cranks like me.

As for the nearly 14.5 million of Californians who opted out, shame shame. What would Pussy Riot think?

Your collective statement is even sadder considering this week’s election arrived on the eve of the 25th anniversary of the massacre in Tiananmen Square, where thousands of protesters lost their lives fighting for democracy, including one young man who stared down four tanks.

What was your excuse again?

I’m too busy.” Please. Voting is easy. I prefer going to the polls, but those who don’t enjoy the hassle can fill out mail-in ballots from home, PANTS OPTIONAL. It takes about as much time as one of those “Which Muppet Baby should you marry?” online quizzes, and less concentration than deciding which Instagram filter works best for your next #TBT photo.

I’m politically uninformed.” I realized while filling out my ballot that there was one statewide proposition I didn’t know much about. So I pulled it up on my phone, found summaries, donor lists and endorsements, and made my decision. It took a minute.

My vote won’t count.” As of this afternoon, the Secretary of State’s website reported 11 “close contests” where the margin separating candidates from a November runoff was less than 2 percent. In other words, bullshit.

Across the globe—in Syria, Ukraine, Afghanistan and elsewhere—people risk incarceration, acid attacks or worse to make their voices hear. Meanwhile, most of you couldn’t color in an oval.

Makes me wonder why conservatives work so tirelessly to repeal voting rights when many of us have already given them up, freely.

(Author’s note: This was repurposed from two separate Facebook rants.)

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