‘I think I’m not going to vote’Editorial, Top Highlights Monday, October 15th, 2012
You would be surprised at how many people on both sides of the aisle are disillusioned with one or more of their candidates. While your decision not to vote is as American as the right itself, it does mean that your voice will not be heard.
The recent presidential election in Venezuela had a 90 percent turnout, while our 2008 presidential election saw a turnout of 63 percent. Forty-seven percent of American voices were not heard in determining the leader of our country.
Truth be told, most of the unheard voices lean toward the Democratic party. Did you know that there are more registered Democrats than Republicans in San Diego? Forty percent of San Diegans are registered Democrats, 29 percent registered Republicans, 27 percent decline to state party affiliation, and the remaining 4 percent are from a host of smaller political parties.
When Obama won the presidency in 2008, San Diego residents turned out in record numbers; 83.72 percent of eligible voters. Given the dominance of Democrats in the city, Obama won 54 percent of the vote, slightly more than he won nationally.
While the perception is San Diego is a Republican town, the reality is it is a Democratic leaning city. Why do we elect so many Republican leaders? Simply voter turnout. So many Democrats do not exercise their right to vote. Are you one? Progressives and Democrats often do not show up at the polls.
Not showing up at the polls has created a city government that has three ethnic city council members, and three woman city council members. That means 37.5 percent of the City Council is of ethnic origin and 37.5 percent of the City Council is comprised of women.
The City Council is not reflective of the community at large. The City of San Diego has a population that is 54.9 percent non-white or Latino. So why don’t we have more ethnic representation in City Hall? San Diego is comprised of 49.6 percent women, why doesn’t the City Council reflect that fact? It is simply voter apathy and a lack of voter turnout.
While the population numbers are similar for the County, all of the County supervisors are white men or women, with women representing 40 percent of the five supervisors. I believe that many of these people are fine political leaders, but isn’t it time for the City and County political leaders to look more like their constituents?
There are many obstacles to voting for supporters of both parties, like holding the election on a work day for most Americans, but there are options for early voting of which you should take advantage.
First, as a registered voter you can request a mail-in ballot. Do it today by going to sos.ca.gov/elections/vote-by-mail/pdf/fill-in-vote-by-mail-app-instruct.pdf or simply type “California vote by mail” in any search engine. You just need to fill out the form and make sure it arrives to the prescribed address by Oct. 30. Do it today!
Then, you will receive a ballot in the mail. Simply vote and mail it in. Your mail-in ballot must be received by Nov. 6 at 8 p.m. Be sure to mail your ballot to your county’s election office by Oct. 31. No lines, no waiting, no missing of work hours. Sit down with your favorite beverage and make your voice heard.
That will ensure that San Diego and its elected leaders begin to look like and represent those who actually live in the city. More women, more ethnicities, more LGBT people, heck, even more white people who represent your values.
Don’t let those that hate the LGBT community or want to relegate our civil rights to simply “social issues” win by suppressing your vote. If you don’t vote, it is the same as voting for the opposite party. In this election, the LGBT community cannot afford that risk.
San Diego LGBT Weekly
Short URL: http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=30025