What happened to Oklahoma voters this primary and runoff elections. It was one of the lowest if not the lowest in Oklahoma history. There are 2.3 million registered voters in the state. It doesn’t matter if you are talking Republicans or Democrats or Independents. People did not go the polls. They didn’t mail in their ballots or even show up for early voting. Women outnumber men when it come to registering to vote but the women didn’t show up either.
If you are thinking, it’s because it was a runoff election The primary wasn’t much better. The largest numbers were for the Governor, US Senator and very unusually the State Auditor but it was the second name on the ballot.
This all happens in a year when Oklahomans will only be voting on 31 out of a 101 House legislative seats. It wasn’t because we only vote on a few races, no, all 101 seats were up for election but in most of the races, nobody challenged the incumbent.
Voter apathy is nothing new, you must go back to the turn of the 20th century before you find large voter turnout and those times of great upheaval and change in the country, two World Wars and a depression.
Everyone involved in the political process is trying to figure out how to get the public engaged in voting. If you talk to people who didn’t vote, they say their vote doesn’t matter. Or they don’t trust voting anymore. I doubt politicians don’t want the people they perceive as their voters not to vote. They are finding if they try and keep the people, they don’t want voting to stay home, it has backfired for both parties.
The people you will be voting for in November, determine your taxes, the safety of your roads, the cost of your utilities, the education of your children. They will decide who gets prosecuted for crime both violent and white collar, they will ensure your tax dollars are spent the way they were dedicated. In other words, they will be involved in every aspect of your life.
Elections for City Councils and School Boards elections, even state lawmakers can be decided by as little as a dozen votes. So, if you wondered if it has an impact, it does. If you wondered if it matters, it does.