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What others say: Thank you for not voting

Posted: June 24, 2014 - 4:38pm

Please stay home on August 19. On October 7, go hiking. When November 4 rolls around, watch a movie.

If fewer people vote, each vote matters more. We don’t think you need help to stay away from the polls — only 19.1 percent of registered Juneau voters showed up to last year’s municipal election — but just in case, stay home next election day.

It’s more important than ever that you do so, because this year you have the potential to turn not just Juneau or Alaska, but the entire United States.

You see, the U.S. Senate is pretty closely divided. There are 53 Democrats, 45 Republicans and two independents, both of whom side with Democrats on most issues.

This fall, 36 of those Senate seats are up for election. Twelve of those seats are going to go to Democratic candidates; 16 are going to Republicans (barring something happening to completely throw off the math, of course.)

Now, if you’ve followed our addition, that leaves eight seats that could go either way. Of those eight, four — Louisiana, Georgia, Arkansas and Kentucky — are leaning Republican. The remaining four — North Carolina, Iowa, Colorado and us here — are pretty much a coin flip at this point.

Campaigns and the candidates will decide those four races, and those four races may decide control of the Senate. With the House of Representatives firmly in control of the Republican Party, control of the Senate will decide control of Congress.

That makes Alaska’s voters the most important in the nation.

What about North Carolina, Iowa and Colorado?

Those states have a lot more people than Alaska does. North Carolina has more than 6.5 million registered voters. Iowa has more than 2.1 million. Colorado has more than 3.5 million.

In comparison, Alaska has fewer than 490,000 registered voters — and most of them don’t vote. In the 2012 general election, fewer than 302,000 Alaskans went to the polls.

That was a presidential election year, which typically increases turnout. This year, there’s no presidential ballot, which means turnout may drop.

We’ll connect the dots for you: Fewer than 302,000 Alaskans may decide control of the U.S. Congress.

Just this week, New York Times writer Nate Cohn did the math and discovered that the nation’s 50 million Hispanic voters will have less influence on this year’s federal elections than the 63,700 registered Alaska Native voters in the Last Frontier.

That’s why it’s so important that you stay home on Election Day. Those of us who vote understand the power we wield, and we don’t want you mucking up the whole process.

Fortunately, you don’t have much time to realize your mistake. July 20 is the last day you can register to vote in the August 19 primary. Given your habit of waiting to the last minute, you’ll probably forget this deadline.

Despite our best efforts, some of you have realized the power you hold. At Celebration, we saw a well-organized Native voting registration campaign. Earlier this week, we published a story on a group of Juneau residents who are organizing a voter registration drive.

They don’t care who you vote for — just that you vote.

We’d prefer you didn’t vote. After all, we like being in the driver’s seat for the United States, and we’d like to keep it that way.

— Juneau Empire,

June 20

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Comments (8) Add comment
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jford
1803
Points
jford 06/25/14 - 10:39 am
2
2
They probably thought they were being witty.

Truth is, they probably really would prefer the rabble not vote.

cheapersmokes
895
Points
cheapersmokes 06/26/14 - 02:18 am
3
3
Voting

Now, Jford, they were just trying to say in a polite manner that they like the way it is and don't want the truly impaired, like yourself, registering and actually voting to muck it all up.

That someone with your narrow view of the issues is even allowed within 100 feet of a polling place should be a capital offense!

jford
1803
Points
jford 06/26/14 - 04:26 am
3
4
cheapersmokes
895
Points
cheapersmokes 06/26/14 - 01:40 pm
1
4
Witty?

Wasn't even trying to be witty! Just stating the obvious! You have such a sick view of the world around you due to your absolute love and unending support of all democrats that is why you shouldn't be allowed to even vote!

jford
1803
Points
jford 06/26/14 - 07:21 pm
3
2
Wasn't entirely sure,

if you were one of those who hated democracy,

...but you've demonstrated very clearly that's exactly the view you hold.

Raoulduke
3014
Points
Raoulduke 06/26/14 - 09:29 pm
1
0
voting

Cheapersmokes- I thank you for your service.You are steadily displaying .Just how Un-American your mindset truly is.You,and people like you are WRONG. Did you not serve for the American to PRACTICE democracy? Or was your service solely for a retirement check?

Suss
3520
Points
Suss 06/26/14 - 11:24 pm
2
0
Need for light

"We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light." -Plato

CameronRobertson
5
Points
CameronRobertson 06/27/14 - 12:15 am
1
1
Yes, go out and do something

Yes, go out and do something that you would not probably do on your day off in order not to waste the free time away. Go visit your long-lost aunt or hike a mountain or just do something out of the ordinary on that particular day. Clear out your garage or declutter your self storage unit to fit in that garage wastes. The point is to stay away and keep yourself occupied so that there will not be any sense of guilt of any type and will deter you from coming back home and be present for the voting process!

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