COMMENT: VOTER APATHY SIGN OF DECLINING DEMOCRACY

(06/19/2015)

COMMENT By Bob Weaver

In rural West Virginia, a few good people show up to keep things going.

We received a few e-mails about voter apathy in Grantsville's recent municipal election.

Zachary Hupp was elected Grantsville mayor, unopposed, with 38 votes, and council members were elected with 40 votes or less.

The turn-out for the town, was likely a record low.

Voter turn-out to local, state and national elections is reaching an all time low, partly driven by the polarized nastiness of political parties, whose conduct drives entertainment news.

West Virginia led the US in low voter turn-out during the last national elections.

Political strategists have become proficient in focusing on their bases and voter apathy, with much of the country gerrymandered to guarantee the election of incumbents or selected candidates.

Then, in national and state elections, America's billionaires, using the Supreme Court's Citizen United decision, can pimp their fortunes into elections to make sure their candidates are elected.

Under the court's decision, they can even do it anonymously.

That so-called PAC money is now filtering down to local legislative races in most states.

Apathy was prevalent in Braxton County's municipal elections in Gassaway, Sutton and Burnsville.

In Gassaway, unopposed incumbent Mayor Richard Roach was re-elected with 33 votes, and Sutton mayor J. L. Campbell with 58 votes.

Such detachment from democratic elections surely signals a collapsing democracy.


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