Saturday, March 11, 2017

A high voter turnout vs. a low voter turnout next Tuesday: The winners and losers going forward.

The only elected official up for re-election is Commissioner McVoy. He needs to suppress the vote and hope for a low voter turnout next Tuesday to get re-elected. Basically he needs to rally his trusted base of 400–600 voters and count on votes because of “name recognition” and from others who just don’t pay attention to what’s going on for various reasons: not enough time, “don’t like politics”, etc.

March 2015 was an extremely low voter turnout. Dismal. And so was the turnout for the bond referendum in August 2014. That bond vote in 2014 was defeated by just 25 votes and McVoy was elected by just 1,636 votes against an unknown and untested opponent in 2015.

The elections in 2016 were just the opposite due to a high voter turnout. Mayor Pam Triolo, Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell, and Commissioner Andy Amoroso were all re-elected by landslides. The Neighborhood Bond referendum also was a landslide victory, with 69% of voters saying “Yes” to the bond.

Briefly, here’s the chronology of McVoy’s previous elections and his involvement fixing the City’s roads and potholes following his initial election in 2010 (his campaign promise was to come up with a plan to fix our City roads in 2010):
  • In 2012 he faced a serious challenger and won. However, the Post endorsed the challenger, Jim Stafford, citing McVoy’s broken campaign promises in 2010.
  • 2013: By referendum, municipal elections were moved from November to March, so McVoy’s next election was moved to March 2015.
  • August 2014: The first bond referendum was defeated by a loose coalition formed by McVoy, the bond vote losing by just 25 votes.
  • March 2015: McVoy wins again in a very low turnout election. Many voters were still unaware in 2015 elections had been moved to March from November like they had been previously.
  • March 2016: The majority on the City Commission (Triolo, Maxwell, Amoroso) win by landslides, high voter turnout.
  • November 2016: Second bond referendum wins by a landslide. Another high voter turnout.
Now let’s examine why the first bond referendum lost in 2014. There is one very clear example why that happened, it was due to low voter turnout and some voter suppression as well.

Below is an analysis that was done of the election results back on August 26th, 2014. Once again, remember, that bond vote to fix our roads and potholes lost by just 25 votes and that’s significant.

On the map below (click on or hover to enlarge) focus on the southern part of Lake Worth, precincts 7160, 7162, and 3078. What happened on each side of I-95 is startling in contrast, especially knowing the terrible condition of the roads east of I-95 in District 1. Road conditions that have only gotten worse since August 2014 and have continued to deteriorate ever since.

Note the dismal voter turnout east of I-95 and south of 6th Ave. South (below the red 2 on the map). The first number is votes “For” the 2014 LW2020 bond.

I was shocked again just like I was when seeing these numbers for the first time almost 3 years ago. Not so much by the dismal turnout City-wide in 2014 but specifically by the low voter turnout east of I-95 and south of 6th Ave. South. Note the totals when compared with the much smaller precinct 3078 which is west of I-95:
  • 3078: Votes AGAINST the bond in 2014, 202
  • 7160: Votes FOR the bond, 92
  • 7162: Votes FOR, 81
The difference? Twenty-nine (29) more votes AGAINST the bond from west of I-95 in precinct 3078. Remember, the 2014 bond vote lost by just 25 votes. Twenty-five.

Had just 26 more voters east of I-95 voted “For Bonds”, many of our streets and potholes would be fixed already.

Anecdotally back then heard reports of voters being turned away at the polls in precincts 7160 and 7162 for various reasons. Many were also directed by “workers” to the wrong polling location which caused quite a bit of frustration. Some ended up returning to their original precinct to vote, the correct one to begin with. Of course, that’s the voters who bothered to go through all the trouble.

So, what does this all have to do with McVoy next Tuesday, Election Day? He needs to suppress the vote in many areas of the City, areas and neighborhoods with terrible infrastructure and streets and also hope many voters don’t remember his involvement is scuttling the bond vote in 2014 and his attempt to scuttle a bond vote once again in 2016.

So, who are the winners and losers if there is a low voter turnout next Tuesday? Almost everybody loses and there will be very few winners.

How to get a high voter turnout next Tuesday? That’s very easy. Remind people what McVoy did. Get busy folks and hope to see long lines on Election Day.