A new report by the U.S. Census Bureau found that voter turnout in the 2014 congressional elections was at an all-time low. The turnout rate of 41.9 percent was the lowest since the bureau started collecting voter participation data in 1978.
How low can voter turnout go? Well, in the birthplace of our democracy, a special election took place last week and hardly any voters showed up. The winners received a combined total of 6,185 votes.
The election was held to fill three legislative seats, two of which became vacant following the incumbents pleading guilty to multiple counts of conflict of interest.
Ronald Waters represented the 191st legislative district. Backed by Democratic ward leaders, his replacement, Joanna McClinton, received 1,419 votes.
While a win is a win, the anemic turnout reflects a political system that has lost the trust of the people. Where else but in a notoriously “corrupt and contented” city would the winner “celebrate” her victory by posing with the disgraced politician who she was elected to replace.
So much for a new beginning.
UPDATE: The Philadelphia Daily News reports that turnout in the 195th Legislative District was seven percent. The no-shows included Anthony Clark, chairman of the commission that oversees elections.
Clark enjoys the support of Congressman Bob Brady, the longtime chairman of the Philadelphia Democratic City Committee. Clark’s continued employment is an affront to the taxpayers and further undermines trust in government.