Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Official Vote Canvass

The official vote canvass occurs this afternoon at the courthouse, so I have been busy looking over the election numbers for my county. It appears that approximately 57% of the registered voters actually voted. It leaves me wondering, who are the other 43% and why didn’t they vote? Are they Republicans who are sick and tired of the Bush administration but couldn’t bring themselves to vote for a Democrat? Are they Independents who think that both parties are equally inadequate? Or evil?

Numbers amaze me, and also, confuse me. I’ve been studying Idaho election results. Ultimately, I’d like to solve the problem of why Idaho has a surplus of Republicans, to the extent that the Democrats can’t seem to provide balance. So, in the 2004 General Election, my county had 72% of the registered voters show up to vote. In the 2006 Primary, only 24% voted. That is a big difference! Obviously the citizens in my county do not necessarily feel that they have a responsibility to vote. Something else motivates them.

Another curious number fact about my county is that, except in the 2004 Election, most of the voting age population (using the 2005 U.S. Census) does not vote. In the 2004 election 56% of the voting age citizens did vote, but in the 2006 Primary only 17% voted and in the election last Tuesday 41% voted. I think that these are fairly large differences and I cannot understand why there isn’t more consistency in voting.

Idaho, historically, has been pretty Democratic, even Progressive. And north Idaho was a Democratic stronghold until mining fell apart in the 1970-80s. I could assume, like many do, that Idaho just followed the rest of the country in becoming more conservative, or, falling for the Republican rhetoric. I don’t think Idaho is losing the Democratic vote because of election fraud, and I just cannot believe that the demographics shifted so extremely that Democrats moved away and/or Republicans moved in. I think there’s more to this than an easy answer. So I’m just bound and determined to figure out what is going on, beginning with my county. It’s my way of doing what I can in order to see Idaho blue again…

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