Letters to the Editor

Support for nonvoting argument

Kudos to Bill Flanigen for his interesting and provocative piece on nonvoting (“I didn’t vote. Leave me alone.” Nov. 6, p. 4).

Seeking to dispel the widely held notion that voting is an obligatory civic duty, he makes a cogent case in favor of those who believe that not voting is an equally valid – even patriotic – choice. An excellent book on the subject available at Gelman, “Dissenting Electorate: Those Who Refuse to Vote and the Legitimacy of Their Opposition,” supports his arguments.

Perhaps Mr. Flanigen should change his major to political science. He has my vote.

David Ettinger, International affairs and political science librarian, Gelman Library

Voter turnout not as expected

This was supposed to be the election that we did it. This was supposed to be the election in which the youth vote really mattered. Maybe in the pseudo-youthful political activist utopia of GW we lost sight of the bigger picture.

As the news of the turnout in this election becomes apparent, it becomes less and less remarkable. Despite Obama’s vigilant advocating for change, he failed to enlarge the voter turnout at all. According to Columbia University political science Professor Andrew Gelman (no relation to our library), youth voter turnout in the 2004 election was around 17 percent. As it turns out, the youth vote this election was only 18 percent.

Sadly it seems like very little has changed. Though President-elect Obama did gain increased support from ethnic minorities that carried him across the finish line, what we fail to see is the huge swell of support that we had been looking for and anticipating for so long. Even the overall voter turnout numbers seem to be the same if only marginally better than 2004.

What’s going on, America? There may have been dancing in the streets of D.C on election night, but no matter the euphoria, the reality is that most of our fellow Americans didn’t heed the call. Change? Not really.

Jonathan Robinson, Freshman

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