April 8, 2009

City voter turnout at 13 percent

Well, we can't blame the weather.

It was a perfect day Tuesday, but slightly more than one out of eight city voters turned out to vote in the mayoral primary. The 13 percent turnout gives credence to the theory that voters would stay home because there were too many candidates to choose from. Candidates said they were hearing people didn't have time to sort through the field, and instead planned to vote in the May 5 general election.

Another factor could be political fatigue. After President Obama's victory in November, people may be tired of voting.

And then there's the plain old "ick" factor. After former Mayor Becker's fall from grace, people may have lost interest in City Hall until someone steps in and returns a sense of normalcy to the place.

No matter the explanation, voters stayed home. Amazingly, turnout was higher - 16 percent - throughout the county where presumably there were not the high-profile races like the mayor's race.

A bummed out Pete Karas mused Thursday night about an old political slogan from 1996 that explained low turnout for the Clinton-Dole presidential election. The bumper sticker read: "If God wanted us to vote, he would have given us candidates."

Let's see how things go May 5.


  1. The people of Racine should be ashamed of themselves. I don't want to hear any complaining in the months and years to come about the new Mayor. Pathetic turnout.

  2. I have to agree with the above comments. In order for your voices to be heard, you have to vote. If you don't vote, don't complain.

  3. I just bet that many of the JT bloggers who have problems with everything Racine probably didn't lift a finger to vote. There was a candidate for everyone.

    I would have thought Dickert and Karas....but then Plache made a good showing. Done is done.

    Turner is going to need a speech coach for any debates.

  4. There were too many candidates, but I prefer 11 over one.

    I think the economic meltdown has seared into the public consciousness that it doesn't matter who you vote for, they're all crooks. I voted, but it was symbolic for a candidate that I knew wouldn't win; and if he did, I knew nothing would change anyway. People are losing their livelihoods and their homes. We know that electing more liars and conmen to office will not help us. If you slap down a dog every time that you call him, eventually he will stop responding.

  5. Very nice Orb's, calling us dogs. For the record, we who voted did so out of a love for the democratic process. We are proud to be involved in it, and if we choose our candidate and he or she is elected we are happy. If that candidate disappoints us during their term we have the right to change our minds and vote them out. When we elect them we are sure they are not crooks and "conmen". It is only when thier values change that we may then make our own change. It is wrong for you to stifle with cynical comments and sit back and do nothing to make our situation better. That is exactly the type of attitude that got us here in teh first place. So how about you step up and make a positive difference, instead of musing about how doomed we are because we have no leaders.

  6. Woof-woof.

    Comments that don't ring true bother nobody.

  7. I am disappointed in the turn out. But just getting people to the polls will not change anything. Eeny meany miney moe, doesn't make for good leadership. So let em stay home.

  8. After all the hubaloo that went down during Becker's term, ya think people would take more interest in Racine's politics? Pathetic...

  9. I wish voting would be more convenient - maybe changing voting to a Saturday when most people aren't working. Can't guarantee it will increase voting, but it would be something that wouldn't cost anything, yet could increase turnout.