Voting is a great American paradox.
We are a nation proudly founded on individual freedoms and representative democracy with a history of hard-fought efforts to expand voting rights for all. Yet fewer eligible Americans vote than in most other developed countries around the world.
Presidential elections average 50-60% voter turnout; midterms draw closer to 40% on average. In odd year local government elections, turnout numbers get really anemic. In 2017, only 1,049 people on average voted in each district in the City of Charleston. The margin of victory was 142 votes on average.
We can all play a role in strengthening voter participation, and we can start next week. Here are three easy steps:
- Lead by Example – This is the easy part, get informed about the candidates and go vote on election day: Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019.
- Encourage Others – Peer pressure can be a positive thing; ask your family, friends and neighbors if they plan to vote and then follow up.
- Support Voting at Your Workplace – Help create a voting culture at your workplace by encouraging your colleagues to get informed and cast a ballot. Consider offering some additional schedule flexibility on election day.
If you’re still pondering who to support at the ballot box next Tuesday, the Chamber PAC is here to help. This year, Chamber PAC volunteers conducted a comprehensive review of candidates standing for elected offices in Summerville, Mount Pleasant, City of North Charleston and City of Charleston. Every candidate who filed for election was invited to participate. Candidate evaluation included a written questionnaire and an in-person interview.
The Chamber PAC also hosted a televised Charleston Mayoral forum attended by all candidates vying to be the next Mayor of Charleston. Watch to hear how candidates responded to questions about housing, flooding, transit and completion of the Mark Clark Expressway.
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