Voter apathy?

It’s the evening of the 3rd of November, 2008. And like every other night, I’ve been browsing several news sites and my 1000++ RSS items. And for the past year, all these websites have been peppered with articles about and references to the 2008 US Election. Without intending to, I have decided which candidate I most agree with, which Californian propositions I’d vote for, and even have some passing recognition of the names of candidates for Congress. I even know where my nearest polling stations would be, if I were a US citizen, thanks to Google Maps.

So it was something of a surprise when P informed me this evening that one of his colleagues (let’s call him/her X) is quite unlikely to go to the polls tomorrow because X is feeling uninformed and isn’t sure that s/he cares about the whole thing anyway. And it made me a little sad that as a non-voter, I cared more about X’s country’s elections than X. I’m not even sure it’s voter apathy that X suffers from. I think it might be a case of toomuchballotsitis. Aside from having to decide which pair of presidential candidate and running mate are more suited to office, the usual suspects for Congress, Senate and State Assembly, a Californian voter has to decide on 11 separate propositions, some more obscure than others. I can almost understand a non-wonk/wonkette would throw his/her hands up in despair. It makes you want to toss a coin and be done with it. But it seems in the case of some, it leads to apathy-like symptoms.

X’s diagnosis came a bit too late for us to help, but the least we can do is to ensure that X makes it to the polling station. The rest is up to X.


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