The numbers: They’re disgraceful.
The sources: The Broward Supervisor of Elections www.browardsoe.gov
The culprit: People who chose not to vote.
Broward: (Website last updated at: 08/31/2016 9:43:58 am)
Miami-Dade: (Website last updated 8/31/2016 12:16:19 AM EDT)
For Broward: There was early voting. Granted, it was one week instead of two, but from August 20th at 10:00 a.m. to August 28th, 7:00 p.m., polls were open. There is what’s now called Vote By Mail, formerly Absentee ballot. I got mine over a month ago. Lastly we had Primary day, which was August 30th, 7:00 a.m.- 7:00 p.m.
I have talked with quite a few people in person and on social media, since the August 30th primary elections. Aside from myself, there are quite a number of dumbfounded persons who don’t understand why people don’t vote. Some were quite colorful, even possible solutions. Some of those comments:
“Lazy @#& fools that were afraid to get wet….I went out in the POUR @%#& RAIN to VOTE!!! Then they want to cry the blues when $h#t doesn’t go their way!!! GO LIVE IN A DICTATORSHIP COUNTRY WHERE YOU CAN NEVER VOTE YOU #)!*$ !!!”
“What a disgrace! I just don’t understand… Please explain.”
“This always shocks me, I’m lost for words. Very sad.”
“So pathetic. You can’t have a democracy work with a bunch of non-voters.”
“I bet if the penalty was no social media for 6 months there would be 100 percent”
“People complain about our politicians but don’t bother to vote … they should just shut up.”
“I know this sounds radical, but I do support a Constitutional duty to vote. We may need to add a column to every race that says “neither” but I think if you want to be a citizen in good standing, barring some good reason, you should vote in every election. For me, that is the bare minimum we should expect from any citizen.”
In my eyes, a primary is just as important as a “big” election. I see it geared more to our state & local issues/persons: Governors, Senators, Mayors, Commissioners, Counsel persons, judges, school board officials, etc. What in God’s name is so unimportant people don’t feel it’s necessary to vote? Do people think Florida is in such a state of grandeur that some don’t care who gets elected? Lord, I hope not!
But looking at the numbers, they don’t seem to care. Why do people feel it is something that makes no difference? I have yet to get an answer what makes believe it doesn’t matter about the ones that make some very important decisions on their behalf, possibly about them, definitely about their life.
This lack of exercising a necessary privilege and civic duty has to stop! This is 2016 when so many people are fighting for basic human and civil rights. I wonder how non-voters would feel about losing their right to vote. That awaits the $64,000,000 answer.
People don’t realize not voting is tantamount to electing many of the wrong people. Many of today’s issues already prove that. I have hopes the November numbers will be a vast improvement.
And for those of you who will continue to not vote, there is JUST NO EXCUSE. Shame on you!
I leave you with the words of President Abraham Lincoln: “Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.”
Rev. Joel S. Slotnick is an ordained Interfaith minister and full time digital court reporter. He can be found on Facebook and followed on Twitter.