Monday, July 28, 2008

Helping the Low-Information Voter

I've said it before, and I'm saying it again: Glenden Brown is one of my favorite bloggers. In fact, he's pretty much the only reason I still read OneUtah.

In a post yesterday, he writes about a coworker of his who was a little confused about the electoral process. It made me think of numerous conversations I have with coworkers, people at church, etc. So, I'm reprinting Glenden's tips for people who need help:

1. The presidential race is not the only race that matters. Two years ago, Utah House Speaker Greg Curtis won by a tiny margin. 30 more voters could have changed that outcome. Legislative, county and city officials have a far more immediate impact on your life than does almost any thing done at the national level. Most of those races are decided on a straight forward basis - whoever gets the most votes wins.

2. You don’t have to vote on every race on the ballot. If you think the presidential is fixed, then vote for the others.

3. The State of Utah produces a pretty good voter information guide every election. You can download it at It tells you about the candidates, races, ballot initiatives etc. It’s worth reading.

4. Last but not least: You buy your bitching rights. If you don’t vote, I won’t listen to you bitch about things. You don’t like how things are being run? Get off your backside and do something about it.

5. If you believe the system is corrupt, the only way to fix it is for people who aren’t corrupt to participate actively. Maybe you don’t know who to vote for. Fine. It’s not hard to get information about candidates or your districts. Go to and look up your elected officials. Call a campaign. Look up their websites. Inform yourself and get involved. The surest way for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing. Don’t be a do nothing. Back when Chris Buttars saying racist things in public, I had a coworker, who lives in his district, ask what to do. I said, work against him. Call a town meeting. Heck, I’ll bet there’s a town meeting you can attend. Write a letter to the editor. Email him. She didn’t do any of those things and when I asked if she was volunteering for his opponent, she said she’d like to. In the end, she’s not doing anything. All your moral outrage is worth a cup of warm spit until you do something with it.

Just a quick note on #1: there were three legislative races that were decided by less than 1%, including two of less than 30 votes.


1 comment:

glendenb said...

Bob - I'm flattered!
Thank you

Glenden B