The Times West Virginian

Politics

October 27, 2012

Nonvoters are trying to tell us something

WASHINGTON — If you're a Republican, you probably don't like it when people say nasty things about your candidate. If you're a Democrat, you get steamed when the other side insults your president or your party.

But there's one electoral bloc that both parties can vilify at their leisure: those U.S. citizens who refuse to vote. They are routinely derided as stupid, or lazy or hapless.

By now, many Americans have already figured out that there are problems with the way they vote. Start with the fact that some people's votes count more than others. The presidential vote on Nov. 6 is shaping up to be a pretty tight contest, so it's entirely possible that the final tally will be close. But, as anyone who's heard of the electoral college already knows, U.S. presidents aren't elected on the basis of the popular vote. (Remember Florida in 2000?) So there's already plenty of editorial anguish over the inherent unfairness of this arrangement.

And then there's the controversy over registration. Republicans, warning against vote fraud, have introduced laws across the country that raise the bar for voter registration. Critics of these efforts point out that these laws address a kind of fraud that is unlikely to occur, and gloss over the type that is much more threatening (namely, the wholesale manipulation of electronic voting machines). Such critics accuse the Republicans of actually trying to suppress the turnout of groups — minorities, the underprivileged, the elderly — who are more likely to vote for Democrats.

These are all legitimate problems. But what I don't understand is why no one is addressing the elephant in the room: the fact that some 40 percent of Americans of voting age don't see any reason to cast their votes on election day at all.

Text Only
Politics
  • Casey, Mooney talk business policy at forum

    Democrat Nick Casey and Republican Alex Mooney say the global warming debate is better left to scientists.

    July 24, 2014

  • Darth Vader is polling higher than all potential 2016 presidential candidates

    On the other hand, with a net favorability of -8, Jar Jar is considerably more popular than the U.S. Congress, which currently enjoys a net favorability rating of -65.

    July 24, 2014

  • Ryan to campaign for Capito in West Virginia

    Rep. Paul Ryan will hit the campaign trail in Charleston next week to tout Rep. Shelley Moore Capito’s bid for U.S. Senate.

    July 8, 2014

  • Casey raises another $332k for congressional bid

    Democrat Nick Casey raised $332,000 last quarter and has $873,000 in the bank for his West Virginia congressional bid against Republican Alex Mooney.

    July 7, 2014

  • South at heart of fight to control Senate

    The South is where President Barack Obama and Democrats long have struggled, and it’s where the party’s toughest battleground will be this year in the fight for control of the U.S. Senate.
    Three incumbents must face the consequences of having voted for Obama’s health care law, but Republicans first must settle primaries in several states, including a challenge to Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

    March 16, 2014

  • Contrast for parties in 2016 presidential race clear

    For Democrats and Republicans, the early stages of the 2016 presidential contest are worlds apart.
    Many Democrats already view Hillary Rodham Clinton as a quasi-incumbent, someone who could take the reins from President Barack Obama.

    January 3, 2014

  • Men play major role regarding gender gap

    Sorry, fellas, but President Barack Obama’s re-election makes it official: Women can overrule men at the ballot box.
    For the first time in research dating to 1952, a presidential candidate whom men chose decisively — Republican Mitt Romney — lost. More women voted for the other guy.

    November 25, 2012

  • Obama returns to divided government

    One day after a bruising, mixed-verdict election, President Barack Obama and Republican House Speaker John Boehner both pledged Wednesday to seek a compromise to avert looming spending cuts and tax increases that threaten to plunge the economy back into recession.

    November 8, 2012

  • America Votes_time.jpg Battleground bonanza

    President Barack Obama rolled to re-election Tuesday night, vanquishing former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and prevailing despite a weak economy that plagued his first term and put a crimp in the middle class dreams of millions.

    November 7, 2012 1 Photo

  • Democrats maintain control of U.S. Senate

    Democrats won a narrow majority in the Senate on Tuesday, snatching Republican-held seats in Massachusetts and Indiana and turning back fierce, expensive challenges in Virginia, Ohio and Connecticut to maintain the control they’ve held since 2007.

    November 7, 2012

House Ads
Featured Ads