Thursday, November 11, 2010

Don't Blame the Caucus For Non Voters

According to the Census Bureau, there are 22,914 people in Eagle Mountain. Of those, 12,053 are adults. Of those adults, 8,179 are registered to vote, which makes for a slightly respectible 67.9%. However, in the recent election only 2,991 of registered Eagle Mountain residents actually voted. That breaks out to a 36.6% registerd voter turnout, but in reality only 24.8% of adults in Eagle Mountain bothered to vote. Which is pretty average for Utah, and for Utah County.

Utah's generally paltry voter turnout is a cause for concern. Many point to our caucus system for the low numbers. But I don't buy it. What's being missed is that there are non-caucus related issues on the ballot. Issues which directly affect every person living in a community.

As I wrote about earlier, Eagle Mountain voted on a bond to build an aquatic center. It was a hotly contested issue which caused turnout to town hall meetings and city council meetings over the last at least two years. It directly affects everyone living in the city limits, and hits the pocket book of every single property owner. It is completely outside of the caucus system, and is direct democracy in action. If the caucus haters are correct, it would bring voters to the polling location in droves.

Not only did the issue not bring out more voters, three hundred fewer people voted in the bond election than voted for the other caucus tainted offices.