Voter turnout shows Fayette full of ‘worthless citizens’

I have two words for the 4,763 people who voted in the Nov. 5 municipal election in Peachtree City: Thank you.

I have one word for the 17,622 registered voters in Peachtree City (about 80 percent of the electorate) who did not vote: Shame, shame, shame!

That same word applies to the 85 percent of registered voters in Fayette County who didn’t vote: Shame!

Even without hearing your excuses, I would bet that not a dozen of them are worth the powder to blow them to hell.

Statistically, some of you were dead. I’d accept that excuse. Less likely, some of you may have been in long-term comas; I’d accept that, as well.

If you were “out of town” for an extended period of time but had applied for an absentee ballot that wasn’t delivered, I would accept that excuse.

If you were unexpectedly required to be out of town for too long and too late to apply for an absentee ballot, I might accept that, but I’d have to know the circumstances.

Other than that, it’s up to you to convince me that you shouldn’t be ashamed for not taking advantage of all the opportunities you had to vote, including absentee ballots, three weeks of early/advanced voting, plus a 12-hour election day.

We consider the person who does not involve himself in civic affairs not as disinterested, but as worthless. Some Greek said that around 300 BCE. He (it was always “he” back then) probably said it better than I did. But it allows me to add a second word to describe those who didn’t vote: worthless.

Shame on you, you worthless electors!

Am I taking this personally? Yes. Why? Well, the aphorism that “people deserve the kind of government they get” is fairly well known, although what Alexis de Tocqueville actually said was, “In a democracy, the people get the government they deserve.”

It is an aphorism, and not literally true; however, it is something to think about.

I’m not going to argue “republic” versus “democracy,” but I will suggest that the 15—20 percent of us who voted don’t deserve the kind of government the 80—85 percent of you shamefully worthless electors have wished upon us.

Don’t take my word for it. Listen to another ancient Greek. Pericles was perhaps history’s first liberal, and he warned, “Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.”

Another aphorism; however, it should encourage us to take a hard look at what Congress and the administration have done to us over the past 15 years or so.

And now, for those who aren’t interested in the words of dead men:

Teacher: Johnny, use “politics” in a sentence.

Johnny (who may be representative of the 80—85 percent of Fayette County and Peachtree City electors who didn’t vote): “My parrot named Polly swallowed a clock; now, Polly ticks.”

Bad example: it is a compound sentence.

The excuse I heard most often was “I didn’t know anything about [the candidates].”

If I needed proof that someone was a shamefully worthless elector, that was it. There was no excuse for not knowing anything about the candidates. There were two, widely advertised public forums and countless articles in the local press. There were City Council meetings that are open to the public and available on the Internet.

Let’s go back to the dead guys.

“Those who [think they] are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.” — Plato

I’ve taken liberties here. Plato didn’t include the two words in brackets (“think they”). However, if he’d thought a little more deeply, I believe he would have. I believe no one is too smart to engage in politics (although there are probably a few who are too stupid — Johnny with the parrot, for example).

Finally, here’s something for those who remember “1984” (the book, not the year or the movie): “In our age there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics.’ All issues are political issues.” —George Orwell

There are some of us who want to make a difference; but it’s going to take more than the 15—20 percent who vote.

Paul Lentz
Peachtree City, Ga.

borntorun
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The Voters Got It Right

I agree in principle with what you are saying Mr. Lentz. It's always struck me as odd that people turn out in droves to vote during a presidential election but stay home during the offseason ones. Those local offseason elections have more day to day impact on your life and finances than the presidential election. However, I think the small percentage of voters in this election at least got it right. Donnie Darko and Georgie Dienhart are gone. A council comprised of Kim Learnard, Terry Ernst and Mike King is certainly better than the current one. Boot Erica in the next one and it will be even better. As I've said I'm supporting Harold over The Big Hair Lady but even she wins, she's a darn sight better than the small minded incumbent.

lettinguno
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I agree with husband and father and Mr. Lentz

And it should be a huge fine for not voting. I really cannot remember and election I have not voted in and I've been voting for 56 years. The people who did not vote are probably the ones doing all the complaining, shameful, yes, very much so.

mudcat
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Makes sense, say a $500 fine for not voting. Sounds good to me

A couple of years ago anyone with that idea would be laughed out of the building, but now, it begins to make sense. If you can be fined for not having health insurance, that already shows us the "legality" of a fine is already established - or settled law, like the commies running the country call it.

So why not fine the non-voters? It would get the turnout increased and maybe a complete turnaround - 80% voting and 20% sitting on their hands - the reverse of what we have now. So 4000 voters each paying a $500 fine - how much is that? Helps the county budget.

The downside is that you encourage/force a lot of ignorant people to vote and since they don't know anything about the issues they will vote for something superficial like skin color or impossible promises like stopping a road project that is already underway and then we would get bad leaders. Wouldn't want that.

johenry
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You're dumber than a box of rocks!!!

We should get paid 500 bucks for having to read your posts for crying out loud!!!

When 25% votes for Harold Logsdon and 5% votes for Don Haddix you've got to wonder what the voters were smoking??? 30% of the voters should be fined for being idiots!!!

The 2 whiners with huge egos call each other names and sue each other and behave badly. We had to pay for the tirades with our tax money and 30% of the idiots who voted put in for Logsdon and Haddix!!! If you want to fine someone there you go.

mudcat
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My my johenry, name calling is not very productive

I was simply expanding on lettingo's idea after reading Mr. Lenz's reasoned letter on people not voting. You seem to have anger issues, although it does appear you follow current events and probably do vote, but name calling is really immature.

Anyway, you can't have it both ways - we are either going to elect our alleged leaders by having 20% or fewer of the voters participate or we are going to make some changes to get more participation. Fines and intimidation are probably not practical, but aligning our local elections with Congressional and Presidential elections is fairly easy to do, but that movement would have to start with those local politicians that just got elected by a minority of the voters.

Most of them know that they will never have a strong support base of more than a couple hundred people but a couple of hundred can influence a couple of thousand and that's enough to win. If they double or triple the turnout, they still have the same support base and it is much harder to influence those voters and win. Plus it gets more expensive and they would actually have to engage in distasteful fundraising activities. So when you see people like Brown and Haddix and Barlow talking about turnout - they are lying. Need proof? Wait for them to bring up changing the local elections as I have described. And then wait some more.

johenry
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what changes???

What changes to elections? How can you change the elections???

mudcat
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Pretty basic changes, johenry

The change is to align the city elections (as the county commission elections are now aligned) to coincide with the Congressional elections that occur every 2 years on the even-numbered years and the Presidential election which occurs every other even-numbered year. The turnout is increased because more people are motivated to vote for or against their Congressman and President and even their Senator which is every 6 years, but also on an even-numbered year.

In other words the odd-numbered 2013 election with the 3 contested city council seats and SPLOST and Sunday Drinking questions that interested only 20% of the registered voters, would not have happened - instead it would have been held in 2012 or 2014 and more voters would have turned out - some voting for Obama or Romney in 2012, some voting out all incumbents in Congress in 2014.

The how to do it is simply have the city council vote on it and adjust the 5 elected terms to expire in January of an odd-numbered year so that the election would occur the previous November (in an even-numbered year). Maybe the city charter has to be changed, maybe not, but that is easy to do if a majority or preferably a unanimous majority of city council wants it.

Of course that means the 3 just elected (2 to 4-year terms and 1 to a 2-year term) have to cut short or extend their terms by one year to achieve alignment with the even-numbered election year. That in itself will give some of them pause and of course the idea that they will turn into a small frog in a large pond, almost a secondary consideration in a big election, could slow down the first part of the process. Like I said, they ain't gonna do it.

Robert W. Morgan
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mudcat, you are leaving the gender part out of this

Remember the stats produced by the Democrat Party a few years ago? They did a study on voting patterns among women and concluded many things, one of which was that women will automatically vote for a woman if one is on the ballot. That should mean that in those high turnout congressional and presidential years, a local female candidate with multiple male opponents will be the clear beneficiary of many additional women coming out to vote.

If you further conclude that women might dodge the off-year election but will consider it a duty to vote in the big elections, you could even conclude the % of females voting would be higher in the big elections. This might encourage our recently reelected female councilperson, Kim; the effeminate incumbent, Erica and our new female mayor (hopefully) to seriously consider changing the election schedules. And why not, if one group of people is being given a slight advantage in the county elections due to skin color; why can't another group (women) be given a leg up in the city elections?

Someone ought to ask Harold and Vanessa if they would encourage a move to the election year adjustment you describe. Should probably ask Mike and Terry as well, since they are part of the team as well. BTW, congrats to both of you.

Spyglass
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The last thing we need is more dumb people voting

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

NUK_1
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Spy: You got that right 100%

My vote is weighted more when the ignorant and could-care-less non-voters don't show up.

Why do we want more people to vote when they are a) uninformed and don't give a damn b)so disgusted by politics that they don't want to deal with it or c) decide to vote because of someone's skin color, religious beliefs, having a hot spouse, etc?

People get murdered in other countries for voting the "wrong way." Does that mean that every American adult of voting age should be voting, regardless of having no idea or caring about what they are voting for? NO. Best they just stay at home or wait until the next election when they have a clue about what they are voting for/against.

People have died in this country for the right to vote.......and also not vote if they so choose. Fine by me.

Husband and Fat...
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Nuk, really

Voting for the hot spouse?

Is that why Arnold won in CA all those years?

If we voted by hot spouses, I'd win :)
(I married way out of my league)

NUK_1
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husband: I hear you

As my Dad once told me long ago, "if it weren't for women, we'd all still be living in caves." :)

Husband and Fat...
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Math Mudcat

17,622 Registered Voters - 4763 Votes = 12,859 non voters x $500 fine = $6.4M

Those who don't pay fine are forced to clean roads, streams, ect every weekend for 2 months or be forced to listen to Steve Brown talk for 100 hrs.

mudcat
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Husband and fat, I did say the fine would reverse it to 80/20

meaning there would be 80% voting and 20% not and subjected to fines.
Still $2mil.

I agree about the work projects for those that can't pay the fine. I'd prefer they be assigned to the sewer plant shoveling sludge, but if you think they should get an out by exposure to Steve Brown for many hours (100 is not fair), then that's your opinion.
I'd rather stand on my head in the sludge than listen to the brown clown, but others may choose a different course.

Husband and Fat...
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Mr. Lentz, I agree

It's shameful regarding the voter turnout. And Decembers election will probably result in fewer people taking an extra 15 minutes out of their day. I promise you that I will turn out and vote.

Maybe there should be a fine for not voting? Perhaps a banishment for the following two elections? Or maybe we make the missing voters sit for 3 hours on a Saturday and listen to one of the candidates boast that since they wear a suit and tie to look the part, we should vote for them.

I went to one forum. Talk about a polite crowd tossing softball questions. Boring and too genteel for my tastes. Next election we need moterators that ask the difficult questions and lets see the leadership skills under fire. Bet people would show up for those fireworks.

Citizen_Steve
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Homework

Paul, I think those who do not vote generally do not because they feel they lack enough information to make an informed decision, and therefore rely on those who've done their homework (eg. Paul Lentz) to make the best decision. One could contend that it's worth their time to do their own homework and vote, although a smarter one would contend that it is not.

Steve

mudcat
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Lack of information is a correctable condition, Citizen Steve

After all, no one really knows anything about the candidates until they announce or qualify. And the issues facing the city or the county are discussed enough at meetings and in forums available for anyone motivated to learn.

So instead of fines, let's motivate them to learn by tying their homestead exemption on their real estate taxes to their vote. If one voter in the household votes and the other does not, you get 1/2 a homestead exemption for 2 years. If both vote, you get a full homestead exemption for 2 years. Just 1 voter in the household? Voting gets it all, not voting gets you 0. Same sex partners of voting age? Same rules - you want equality - you got it. Renters? No exemption, don't care if you vote or not, you are less than 10% of the population in Fayette, we'll settle for 80% of the homeowning 90% to turn out and vote.

That encourages people to vote and maybe even learn about the issues. Also gets some motivation going for both husband and wife to vote. Maybe they will even discuss the candidates among themselves over dinner instead of watching Dancing with the Stars. Maybe they will attend city council or county commission meetings. Maybe pigs will learn how to fly. Nevertheless,there is really no valid excuse for not voting when the early voting is available.

Citizen_Steve
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Mud

I went to the polls armed with all of the opinions I read in The Citizen blogs, so I'm confident I voted wisely.

mudcat
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Glad you voted, I guess. Citizen blogs - not the best resource

Anyhoo, the discussion is about getting more people to vote. Any really good ideas or you just want to be snarkey?

Ideas being set forth are
Fines
Intimidation
Banishment from future voting
Additional taxation as a penalty

Or just do nothing and complain about the results

What say you?

PTC Observer
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Mudcat - Here's

some more for your list that's been used by the socialist elitist class for decades, arrest, imprisonment and execution. Of course, you should only have one candidate to vote for and you should have only one party to make things certain. After all, they represent the majority and in a democracy the majority wins.......no matter what.

Remember what Stalin said, "It's not who votes that counts, it's who counts the vote."

Yes, yes I know....it's hard to believe but you know socialists believe that they are far superior to the masses and know best. So, the ends justify the means.....like lying, stealing elections, or just simple murder.....or perhaps working with crony insurance companies to "transform health care"

Yes, by all means let's begin punishing people for not voting......it's the socialist's way.

mudcat
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Are you saying lying and stealing are gateway traits

leading to murder and eventually socialism? Wow! if true we sure dodged a big problem that would have been Haddix's second term. I can see his ego plotting to murder his opponents, but that would pretty much be everyone on council and everyone at city hall - and certainly everyone on these blogs. Besides who would do the murdering? The police dept? Don't see them getting on board with that.

Maybe you are right - no need to correct an imaginary problem and replace it with something far worse. Let's just embrace our low voter turnout and let everyone complain. I must say that this election has given me some hope that the city will be back on track soon.

MYTMITE
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MudKat, have you have a phyical lately? I think maybe you have

a few synapses that are not firing properly. Aren't you afraid that you may be setting yourself up for a defamation suit--and no city council insurance to back you? Or do you still think your 'group' still has enough pull to keep you out of trouble?- or then again it may just be those nasty little synapses.

mudcat
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Don't have synapse. Don't wear an old fashion girdle either.

Had a physical last week. Had to go to a new doctor after losing my old one after 20 years. She joined some group and they eliminated about 2/3 of their old insurers. I'm really unhappy about all that, but at least my health is good.

PTC Observer
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Mudcat - We

should be thankful that not everyone votes and only those that are somewhat educated on the candidates turnout, even if it's because someone in their family feels strongly about it. At least, there is some basis for voting.

The new city council has the prospect to be one of the best we have had in years, let's just hope the new Mayor has proven leadership qualities, has some degree of honor and integrity. Each member of the council should remember that they represent the citizens and put their egos aside. For a few, this may be a challenge, but we'll see.

MYTMITE
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Citizen_Steve, if you voted per all the opinions re:election on

this site--just how many times did you vote?? LOL

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