Cheat Sheet Q&A: Tuesday's voter turnout:
Today's entry: I know you were hoping for increased voter turnout for the local elections. I was too. Taking a look at the vote totals it doesn't look like that happened. How did the turnout this time compare to the past local elections?
Bottom Line: There's an old inside joke that I have with my former boss that I was reminded of when thinking of how to describe what happened on Tuesday. Over the course of several years we had a great deal of success together. As many can attest, once your typical performance is consistently out-performance - it's easy for some people around you to take it for granted. We used to compile comprehensive monthly ratings reports for our stations that we'd send to his boss for him to review. Most of the time, if it weren't for the email notification that he had read the message, we wouldn't have even known that he read them. On the rare occasion that we'd take a bit of a dip, we'd be reminded that he did, as there'd be a slew of followup questions as to why/how it could have happened.
On one particular occasion we thought for sure that we'd finally get that nice big slap on the back and "Great Job"! Kind of feedback. We didn't just perform well, we had the best all around performance on record in the current ratings system (in that particular ratings period WJNO had higher ratings than every other station on the AM band combined). We fired off the report detailing top to bottom all the successes and demonstrating the extent of the impressive wins. We thought for sure that'd be the time that our hard work and outstanding performance would finally be recognized. It was! My boss called me in to show me the positive feedback that we finally received. It was an email with two words. "Nice uptick".
That's a true story and a joke to this very day that I try to work into most conversations that I have with my former boss and mentor (who's really just a friend now). Anyway that's what happened on Tuesday. A nice uptick but not in the, wow we did great way, but rather in the literal interpretation. We had an uptick.
Palm Beach County's Uniform Municipal elections have averaged 12% turnout over the past decade (with 12.3% being the recent high water mark). Tuesday's turnout was 13.7%. My hope that all of the interest and news engagement that we've experienced in the early days of the Trump administration would translate into local election engagement didn't pan out. Or did it?
Palm Beach County has averaged 74% turnout for Presidential elections. In the context of that figure 13.7% is paltry and disappointing. However, the other way of looking at this is that 14.2% more people voted than usually do in our municipal only elections and the highest percentage of participation in at least the last decade occurred. So I guess we'll have to settle for a "nice uptick" for now.
If you have a topic or question you'd like me to address email me: email@example.com