Saturday, March 28, 2015

Are we being teased by all these early ballots being cast in upcoming election?

With the exception of Monday’s snowfall, the weather this week has been fairly mild – which could make it less unpleasant for people to actually go out and cast ballots for the upcoming municipal elections.

That may account for the fact that the early voting centers open this week in Chicago have seen significant numbers of people show up.

THE CHICAGO BOARD of Elections indicated that through Thursday, there had been 44,291 people who had showed up to vote – more than the 21,557 people who cast ballots in the first four days of early voting prior to the Feb. 24 municipal elections.

Now I know some are going to point out that the early voting for that February election wound up being higher than any other early voting for city government posts – so it must be a sign that there is intense interest in the upcoming mayoral election.

Which I’d like to believe, but I’m not sure I do.

The fact I remember is that most of the early voting for those elections came in the final days of the two-week period in which people could cast ballots prior to Election Day. So being ahead of the pace for now isn’t that difficult.

THERE ALSO IS the fact that in the November 2014 elections for state and county government posts, there were a high number of early voters who participated.

Yet let’s point out that the overall percentage of people who voted for governor and the other posts last year wasn’t all that high. And the total number of people who bothered to cast ballots for mayor back in February stunk – it came within a few hundredths of a percent of being the lowest mayoral voter turnout ever.

What we’re seeing are the hard-core types who – for whatever reason – are capable of taking a day off during the week, and include a trip to the polling place amongst their daily errands.

These are the people who have that Rahm “hatred” that is getting them all worked up so they feel the fire in their bellies to partake in this political crusade – which has the potential to disappoint them come April 8 when they realize that perhaps the bulk of Chicago doesn’t care.

NEARLY TWO-THIRDS OF registered voters didn’t bother to vote back in February. It may turn out that the overall percentage of voters who bother to vote come 10 days from now won’t be any higher.

Which is a shame, since I really think people ought to express themselves politically – it is their government and they have every right to let it be known what they want, and expect.

It is this kind of apathy that ultimately makes political people think they can do what it is they want, without having to pay much regard to “We, the People” (remember that blasted U.S. constitution?), for whom the political people supposedly work for.

It also is the reason why I bothered to take the time Friday to get my “I voted!” sticker, which means I cast my actual ballot.

IN MY PARTICULAR part of the Chicago area, the elections aren’t that thrilling. Most of the votes I cast were for unopposed candidates. There were a couple of picks, but I was able to work my way through the whole ballot in a matter of a few minutes!

In fact, it took more time for the election judge to find my name in the voter rolls and program the card so I could use a touch-screen to cast my ballot than it did to actually vote.

Although the sun was shining and it wasn’t extremely freezing outside. Because I went in mid-day, there was no line. I was able to walk right up, cast my vote, then go back home within minutes.

Thereby reclaiming my Constitutionally-given right to complain about my elected officials and their actions; which are, after all, known to many political operatives as, “the People’s business.”


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