Think about this: if State Senator Russ Fulcher of Meridian had won the Republican nomination for governor and upset two-term incumbent Governor C. L. “Butch” Otter, he would have been a prohibitive favorite to win the governorship in November. After all, he’s a Republican.
Now ponder this: a Governor Fulcher would have been nominated and elected by just one out of every eight eligible voters. That’s correct. Do the math. The Secretary of State said the turnout was approximately 25% of the eligibles and with 12,000 more votes Fulcher would have captured slightly more than half of one-quarter, or one eighth of the vote.
Something is rotten in Denmark, to quote Shakespeare. Why don’t more Americans and Idahoans use their God-given, patriot-blood derived precious right to vote? The percentage of eligible voters who withstood threats to their very lives had a higher degree of participation in the recent Ukrainian election.
While campaigning with Governor Andrus, I sometimes saw this scenario unfold: usually before or after an Andrus speech or a Capitol For a Day, some loud-mouthed, white male in his 40’s or 50’s would come up to Andrus and demand the answer to some incomprehensible question.
Once they swore, or got obnoxious, Cece would invariably stop their diatribe cold with a question: let me ask you this---are you registered to vote and did you vote in the last state-wide election? He had a sixth sense because invariably they were caught so flat-footed they answered honestly and admitted they were neither registered nor had voted.
In general, Cece was an excellent listener, but he always wrote these folks off. Yes, he knew represented all the people of Idaho, even the none-voters, but if they couldn’t take time to register and vote, he seldom took the time to listen. “There are real voters to meet and help,” he would say.
Another voter “tick” that neither of us could understand was why so many of the few Idaho voters who showed up, would only vote on the marquee races - governor, U.S. senator and maybe lieutenant governor, and then not vote on the down ballot races.
It happened again in the May 20th primary. (more…)