By failing to move swiftly towards finding a way to count nearly 50,000 votes cast incorrectly in last week’s primary election, the Los Angeles County Registrar is sending a terrible message to residents of L.A. – their votes don’t matter.
It is a message that countless politically apathetic college students have told themselves long before last week. It is a message that must change.
Voter turnout, and the idea of democracy in America, hinges upon the basic concept that everyone’s vote counts.
Vote because it is your duty as a citizen of a great democracy, vote because it matters.
But the younger generation of voters doesn’t buy into this utopian mindset. It didn’t before, and it certainly won’t now.
The unfortunate truth is that for the most part, an individual’s vote makes very little difference.
Miscounted ballots, electronic glitches, lack of paper trails, butterfly ballots and missing bubbles combine to paint a terrible picture about the true state of American democracy.
The recent primary debacle in California is just the latest in a long string of betrayals to the American public.
Political pundits lambast young Americans for their lack of participation in the American political system.
Yet the election officials’ repeated failures to swiftly correct deeply flawed voting systems makes it increasingly difficult to make believe that voting really matters.
Estimates on the number of nonpartisan or independent votes that were incorrectly cast in the Feb. 5 California primary vary.
According to the Los Angeles Times, an estimated 49,500 votes were uncountable in the election because of a marking confusion on the ballots.
Sadly, this was in no way an isolated incident.
The Times reported that this problem arose in the elections in 2004 and 2006, with up to 44 percent of so-called crossover ballots in those elections getting tossed by the wayside.
Politicians are attempting to rally young voters by promising change.
Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, in particular, can’t say the word enough.
But other leaders should be echoing this promise, and start by ensuring that a vote cast is a vote count.
It’s basic math.
Election flaws equal apathetic voters – it’s a simple equation and election officials need to wake up and do the math.