What if Idaho had an Election and Nobody Showed Up?
Roughly 3,000 people voted in Twin Falls. In Murtaugh, it appears under 40. Even fewer votes were cast for school board members and levy requests. You do the math, a little more than five percent of the population in Twin Falls cast a vote, even with generous early voting.
I showed up at my polling place at 1:00 p.m. There were two people in the parking lot, keeping their distance from the polling station. It looked to me like they were with Reclaim Idaho and collecting signatures for a petition. I nodded at them as I left. They were about as busy as the people working the tables inside.
I walked in and was outnumbered seven to one. Someone said hello and addressed me by name. I handed over my driver’s license. A woman scanned it (what’s all the controversy over voter identification). Then she asked me to verbally give my address. Last year I botched it. It’s like my own telephone number. I never call it, so why memorize it?
I posted about my experience on Facebook. I only had three choices to make. This wasn’t brain surgery. It’s about the future of my community. Someone called and asked me Tuesday morning how we’re supposed to learn anything about local candidates. A handful appeared on my program this year and took questions, however.
There are numerous forums hosted by churches, community groups, and business associations. Where you can size up candidates. If you have Internet access, you can check out their social media and learn quite a bit. Ultimately, it’s your end of the bargain to learn about the people who want to represent you. I don’t begrudge you for skipping the vote if you didn’t have time. It’s a better alternative than rolling dice.