Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

I Voted, Did You?


The polls in Pullman will be closing in a few minutes I voted today around 5:30 PM. I was voter number 38 at Precinct 120, and the officials there told me that they had the heaviest turnout in Pullman to that point. So, as I had thought, this primary will have a very low turnout. Not surprising. It's an off-year, special election with only one or two issues on the ballot that have had very little media coverage. Officials have estimated only a 30% turnout statewide. It will be interesting to see if the low turnout helped or hurt Prop 1 and Judy Krueger.

I spoke with several of my neighbors and co-workers today, and there was a lot of confusion. Many wondered why a sample ballot explaining both sides of the issues was not sent out in the mail explaining candidates' stands and the proposition. As one neighbor commented, "If you don't read the paper, then you have no idea what is going on." Some thought it was a bit disingenuous of the county to add Proposition 1 to the ballot with such short notice. There is no organized opposition that I know of to Prop 1, and the only letters to the editor about it were from Whitman County officials who support it.

It was nice to learn my neighbors had heard of Ann Heath and wanted to vote for her. They couldn't, unfortunately, because like me, they live in Ward 1. The city needs to do a better job educating people about the city wards. There is a big turnover in residents, and it is confusing. An online map would be a good first start. Perhaps also a way you could type in your address and have it return your ward number as well.

I'll post election updates as the results come in.

5 comments:

April E. Coggins said...

Tom, my husband and I voted. Due to voter apathy, our votes count extra large. It is not the government's responsibility to keep voters informed. The responsibility belongs to the citizen. The government is not responsible for uncovering every voter under every rock.

April E. Coggins said...

At 10:30 a.m. this morning I was voter number 7. My husband was number 3, two precinct workers who probably voted ahead of us, means that four people voted. Probably teachers. My one vote will make a huge difference. It's better odds than the lottery and more important.

Kudos to the election workers. It's boring, un-thanked work. My mother used to be one of those workers. I am proud of my mother and all of the election volunteers who help keep America free.

Tom Forbes said...

Good point April. With our rights comes a certain amount of responsibility.

I thought Chuck Millham did a good job addressing civic involvment in his column today. While not mentioning PARD by name, these comments were clearly aimed at them: "..the university community could have much to offer in such an effort [building Pullman's economy], if it only would. So many of us have only complained and obstructed for so long that some wonder if we have constructive civic effort in us. We do, but it's time to show it."

Ray Lindquist said...

Well I voted also. I found out that I am in WARD 1 so no voting for Ann, which I would have, sorry Ann. When I was in the polling place there was a nice lady that brought her mail in ballot in so she could also vote for the City positions but she two was unable to due to where she lived. The city council postions where not on the mail in paper work she had. So yes the confussion is all over the map as to what ward we all live in and who we get vote for, so yes we need some sort of online map would be nice.

Sarcastic Housewife #1 said...

I voted at 12:15 yesterday and was number 17. I vote at precinct 120 as well. I'm appalled at the apathy level. Even more appalling is trying to figure just what ward you live in. Just a note...my dad voted at 3pm yesterday at precinct 120 and he was number 23. Quite the run of 6 people for 3 hours. Bless the poll workers!