Voter Turnout for 2014 Midterm Elections

The Denver Post published an editorial declaring that the “…test of the state’s all-mail ballot and vote center system…” was a success because 2 million votes were cast compared to 1.8 million for the 2010 midterm election. The sad fact is that the Post was bragging about a 53% voter participation despite the ease of voting by mail.

Colorado voters were significantly more engaged that the nation as a whole. The Center for Responsive Politics reports that just 36.4% of eligible voters in the nation cast votes, which was the lowest turnout since 1942. There were seven states with turnout less than 30%. The worst result was in Indiana at 28%. Even the Kansas Senate race that was given nationwide attention only had turnout of a bit less than 43%.

Another scary statistic is that the nationwide campaigns were estimated to have cost $3.67 billion. I know that there was a constant barrage of television ads for the Colorado Senate election. That one campaign had a total cost of 97 million dollars, which equates to about $50 for each vote that was cast. I will admit that the ads toward the end of the campaigning did sometimes count as entertainment. I particularly liked the one portraying a couple desperately searching for a place to buy condoms because Senatorial candidate Cory Gardner had outlawed them as part of his quest to prohibit all forms of birth control.

There have been all manner of suggestions on how to get more voters to participate. Both political parties have spent huge amounts of time and money on their get out the vote efforts. Perhaps they should think about political ads that are less insulting.

2 thoughts on “Voter Turnout for 2014 Midterm Elections

  1. I am not sure that full voter participation is a good goal. I prefer voters to have knowledge about the issues and candidates for whom they are voting. Simply getting more warm bodies into the voting booth does not equate to greater democracy or greater outcomes for our country. I would like to see greater education of the citizenry on the issues and responsibilities of citizenship to enable more knowledgeable voters, however the teachng of civics, etc. in our schools seem to be heading in the opposite direction. In the meantime, if you don’t understand the whats and whys of voting, I am happy if you decide to stay home.

    • More citizens voting is more democracy – whatever you think abut the individuals. I’m afraid we have history that says creating qualifications for voters (aside from citizenship and age) leads to discrimination. Since those who fail to vote are usually the more uninformed/uninterested, getting them interested helps get them both informed and voting. Of course – LOL- I’m always happy when those who disagree with me stay home.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *