Listening to the radio on the way to work, I heard that a small town school bond levy in Idaho had passed by an approximately 70:30 vote.
Let that sink in for a moment…70:30 approval.
The next thing I heard was that the voter turnout was 30 percent.
If my math is correct, 70 percent of 30 percent comes to 21 percent of eligible voters who approved the levy. 21 percent of the people wanted the levy, and the other 79 percent either opposed it, figured it was a forgone conclusion, didn’t care enough to vote, or didn’t know about it (the latter leaves me wondering who was in charge of publicizing it).
In a very small town where the school district is possibly the largest single employer, how many of those 21 percent who approved the levy do you suppose were school district employees, the families of school district employees, and contractors to the school district?
Forget how you would vote on something like this– you could be on either side of it, depending on the particular issue. Looking at it conceptually; how is it that 21 percent of the people, most of whom are the direct recipients of the tax revenue, are able to impose taxes on 100 percent of the people? Is that outcome consistent with the idea of democracy, or of a free society? No and no.
Why don’t we have a quorum rule for something like this?