HomeLettersTurnout Trends Higher with Expanded Voting Options

Turnout Trends Higher with Expanded Voting Options

First published in the Nov. 10 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

I’ve noticed frequent and disturbing misinformation and partisanship in Mayor Keith Eich’s “folksy” Mayor’s Corner columns published in the Outlook Valley Sun. The most recent example: Mayor Eich asserts that voting participation has declined due to vote by mail and increased voting days. This is not the case, and in fact the opposite is true, with participation generally trending higher. He further asserts that voter education is lower (how has he measured this?) and partisan politics is dividing our society even more. True enough, but I can’t discern any cause and effect correlation between increasing access to voting and partisanship. In fact, Mayor Eich increases partisanship by going on to state that due to his thesis of increased access, there’s a “downward spiral of trust, uninformed voters, lower awareness and unhappy people.” Like many other politicians, led by the former president, Eich is in fact creating the distrust, then complaining about it.
Here are the facts regarding turnout in recent years as voting has become more convenient and accessible:
Presidential election years in California (from the statewide database):
1996 – 65%
2000 – 71%
2004 – 76%
2008 – 79%
2012 – 72%
2016 – 75%
2020 – 81%
Midterm elections:
1998 – 57%
2002 – 50%
2006 – 56%
2010 – 59%
2014 – 42%
2018 – 64%
2022 – we’ll soon find out.

Brad Kessell
La Cañada Flintridge

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