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I'm downright ecstatic about the result but... - The Life and Thoughts of Zach

Feb. 22nd, 2005

10:36 pm - I'm downright ecstatic about the result but...

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How disturbing is it that in a city with a population of 40,000 only about 5,000 participated in the choice of the Mayor?

Comments:

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From:meekay
Date:February 23rd, 2005 04:42 am (UTC)
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It was a primary, right? How many registered Democrats out of those 40K?
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From:zarfmouse
Date:February 23rd, 2005 04:47 am (UTC)
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It was a primary but the Republicans aren't running anyone in the General and there was no Republican primary (because there were no contested republican candidates). The incumbent Democrat (who lost the election) and the chair of the local GOP were actively encouraging republicans to vote in the Democratic primary.

Illinois does not have party registration. There's no such thing as a "registered Democrat" in Illinois. Anyone can vote in any primary, you can just only vote in ONE primary or the other. But you can change which primary you vote in every time and you don't have to decide which party's ballot to pull at the primary until you get to the polling place.

In anycase these numbers are certainly not out of line. They may even be higher than normal. I'm sure not all 40,000 Urbanaites are registered to vote at all, much less regularly voting in the Democratic primary.

It's still just generally sad. It is sad that the ballot access requirements were so hard that the Greens (or Libertarians) couldn't even consider running a mayoral candidate, that the Republicans could have but didn't bother, and that ultimately people can't be bothered to vote in non-presidential elections.

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From:tmesser
Date:February 23rd, 2005 06:48 am (UTC)
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...people can't be bothered to vote in non-presidential elections.

That frustrates the hell out of me, too. Seems like few people realize that the choices made in local elections really do have an impact on their lives.
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From:zarfmouse
Date:February 23rd, 2005 06:51 am (UTC)
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I'd go so far as to say that local elections have orders of magnitude more direct impact on most voter's lives than federal elections.
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From:the_sween
Date:February 23rd, 2005 04:11 pm (UTC)
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At the same time though, I think you have a better chance of electing third party candidates (if you CAN get them on the ballot) in non-presidential elections because people will be less likely to vote a straight party ticket for smaller ballots. This is my own hare-brained theory and I have no data to support it though.
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From:zarfmouse
Date:February 23rd, 2005 05:01 pm (UTC)
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That is definitely true.
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From:msphys
Date:February 23rd, 2005 04:59 am (UTC)
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Were they dead?
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From:earnbrand
Date:February 23rd, 2005 05:27 am (UTC)
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If they were dead, they'd be voting! Oh, wait, this is Urbana, not Chicago.
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From:livingluster
Date:February 23rd, 2005 01:47 pm (UTC)
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I went to vote a little after 6pm, less than an hour before polls closed. When I walked into the room one of the election workers commented, "We just might break 30," which I assume meant 30 people for the whole day. Amazing.

And a question for your Zach, how likely or possible is it for a Republican to join this race before the regular election?
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From:mythworker
Date:February 23rd, 2005 02:58 pm (UTC)
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I know you asked Zach, but I'll answer anyway. The chance is pretty much zero. The local Republican party knows it can't win a city-wide contest in Urbana and doesn't waste the effort to do so. This is why they backed conservative (in Urbana terms) Democrat Tod, because he would be more open to their needs. But Prussing winning the primary means she'll run unoppossed in the main elections (there is a slim chance someone could run as an independent, but it is pretty slim and they would have little chance of winning).
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From:juvenilia
Date:February 23rd, 2005 03:05 pm (UTC)
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sascha says that someone is probably going to run, but that it's probably not going to be much of a campaign, since the likelihood of a republican winning in urbana is so slim.
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From:zarfmouse
Date:February 23rd, 2005 04:52 pm (UTC)
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Where does Sascha get that information? I think the deadline is past for slating new candidates.
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From:juvenilia
Date:February 23rd, 2005 04:55 pm (UTC)
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speculation? i don't know. he didn't elaborate and i didn't ask.
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From:zarfmouse
Date:February 23rd, 2005 04:51 pm (UTC)
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Isn't the deadline past for either petitioning as an independent or slating as a Republican? Maybe I'm reading the election calendar wrong...there are a LOT of pages in that thing. I might have skipped one.
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From:zarfmouse
Date:February 23rd, 2005 04:57 pm (UTC)
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As far as I can tell the deadline for the party to slate candidates was in January.

I don't think there is any way for someone to run against Laurel unless they run a write-in campaign.
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From:livingluster
Date:February 23rd, 2005 07:28 pm (UTC)
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Awesome! Yay Mayor Prussing!
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From:erikforperson
Date:February 24th, 2005 06:03 am (UTC)
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Of that 40,000, how many are of voting age?
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