Editorial: San Diego county rejects Prop. 30, abysmal voter turnout to blame

Voting in a national election isn’t hard, and it doesn’t take up much time. So why did almost half of registered voters in San Diego county fail to cast their ballots on Nov. 6?

Voting isn’t just a right we have as Americans, it’s a responsibility we all share as citizens of the nation. Without input from the citizens, our executive and legislative branches of government can’t function as accurate representations of what the people want.

Our country was founded on the beliefs that our government is to be run by the people and for the people, but when people choose not to voice their opinions, all of those principles that are supposed to make our nation great are rendered irrelevant and useless.

In fact, voting trends from the recent election perfectly illustrate the importance of  voting, indicating that the demographics in America have already shifted, and that the traditionally prominent white-male vote is in the process of being marginalized. The Christian Science Monitor has reported that Obama won 93 percent of the African-American vote, 71 and 73 percent of the Hispanic and Asian vote respectively, and 55 percent of the overall female vote.

Meanwhile, Romney won about 59 percent of the white vote, which is “… the best a GOP nominee has done among whites since 1988, and not too long ago such a performance might have guaranteed a winning margin … after all, whites still make up 72 percent of US voters,” according to CSM.

The idea that a single vote does not matter does not fare well in the aftermath of a close election that, for possibly the first time in U.S. history, was determined by minorities and women. Now more than ever is the time to exercise one of our country’s most important rights.

Yet, according to the California Secretary of State’s website, only 52.6 percent of registered voters in San Diego County actually voted in this election. The idea that people would register to vote and then neglect to cast their ballot is atrocious, especially at City, which had a polling place on campus. Even more disheartening is that in San Diego county, a place with many community colleges and universities, Proposition 30 was actually rejected.

Prop. 30 wasn’t voted down by a small margin either. As of Nov. 9, according to the San Diego County Registrar of Voters website, 56.9 percent of people who actually cast their ballot in our county voted against Prop. 30.

The good news is that despite the apathy displayed by registered voters in San Diego, Prop. 30 was passed by the more vocal voters all over the state. We here at City should learn from this election. If we want real change we need to voice our opinions, and if we want certain ballots to pass, we need to cast our votes; not just out of patriotic duty, but out of an understanding that in the current political landscape, our vote matters more than it ever has.

Editorials represent the views of the City Times Editorial Board