Prolly not a sign of a healthy democracy: no one voted in SW Missouri election

Only 70 people but still… no one knew there was an election? They aren’t “surprise” events like flash mobs or McDonald’s Szechuan sauce… none of these people care about how their tax money is spent? WTF?

Well, no, a healthy democracy doesn’t involve some tiny town, orders of magnitude too small to provide meaningful services at any level of efficiency, traipsing fourteen miles to vote on a single ultra-ultra minor administrative issue because something “raised the question” of a minor legal issue with taxation. Nobody showing up should put some egg on the face of the broadly-defined election authorities (any election held outside of an even-year November, if it’s absolutely necessary to hold one, ought to be the subject of some mass communication about time/date/place) but this was not some burning (heh) issue needing the public’s consent either.

I don’t check with my county clerk when to expect an election. If it’s not publicized of if I don’t receive notice in the mail, I’d have no idea if there was an election. GOP legislatures are passing a lot of bills this year making it easier for an election to go by unnoticed by the people they don’t want voting.

Exactly. If I hadn’t seen a small notice in the local news the morning of the 6th, I wouldn’t have known. There was just no talk about it anywhere. I did vote, but if I hadn’t checked news before heading to work I wouldn’t have known. None of my coworkers would have either, because I’m the one that told everyone to get their butts out to vote, and they all said thanks for the reminder, because they hadn’t seen anything either.
It seems unusual - I’ve never had an election day (however small/local) come up with so little notice before. I think from now on I’ll be checking actively for stuff like this since it isn’t getting announced properly.

Um, the federal elections are the first Tuesday in November. NOT coincidentally, some states like Missouri and Illinois hold what we (in IL) call “consolidated elections” for local offices the first Tuesday in April. Registered voters should be aware of these things.

Here in California there is an election somewhere on a dozen or more Tuesdays per year.

But voters know which county they live in, right?

Most know what county they live in but I doubt one in a hundred check that website. Luckily in California, if there is an election they will receive election materials and a ballot from the county clerk. Republicans legislators are actively opposing using the mail for such notifications and ballots by mail.

OK, I’m sure things are different in other states. Around here, people have yard signs, and there are signs all along the major roads. Some of them even say, Vote April 6th. YMMV.

It sounds like this stupid issue was the only (theoretically) contested issue on the ballot in this community. The other race was two people running for two seats on a local board. “Vote yes to make a minor technical adjustment to the basis on which the local fire station serves our pointless postage stamp of a municipality” is not a yard sign kind of issue. It’s the kind of thing where you go to vote on something real, and then this is tagging along at the bottom of the ballot in the hope that you’ll just vote yes. But there was nothing real to vote on…so nobody did.

It’s weird because wouldn’t the people that got whatever these issues are on the ballot go out and vote for them, very strange that nobody, city council type people? Nobody voted? I mean I’d at least expect local politicians to vote.

He was in the hospital:

Deborah Burton, La Russell city clerk and wife of Mayor Rick Burton, said her husband was in the hospital until Wednesday after he became ill last week.

You’d think the candidates would vote, though do they get on the board? Technically they were the candidates with the highest vote total…


And aside from that, isn’t this sort of minor technical thing, that most people not only don’t know anything about, but wouldn’t care about even if they knew it was an issue, exactly the sort of thing we elect local representatives to deal with?

If my local area becomes so dysfunctional that I have to start worrying about stuff like this, it’s time to vote the bastards out, and get people who can do the job.

Missouri has a tradition of demanding that the citizens vote on even mundane and trivial issues if there might be taxes involved. One of the effects of the Hancock Amendment to the Missouri Constitution, for example, requires voters to approve any new local taxes, licenses, or fees, or increases thereto; that means I once voted in an election in which one of the dominant issues was whether the city cemetery was allowed to raise the fee for burials to cover rising expenses.

No, Missouri explicitly does NOT trust its local representatives to make these kinds of decisions.

In my experience, propositions (especially those related to raising money for particular groups via tax assessments) are commonly placed on off-year ballots.That way, parties that benefit mobilize their supporters to vote, while voters in general are less motivated to go to the polls.

The case in Missouri sounds different, but at any rate it’s not like the town loses fire protection because no one voted on the issue.

Yep. I live in a major metro area and even here, the primary way we find out about odd-cycle elections (i.e. not every other November) is when the candidate campaign signs start showing up on street corners and in yards. I mean, stuff like city council, school board, and other local things are usually in the spring.

But it’s not like I get a letter from the school district, city or county reminding me of the election; I usually see a sign saying “Kodos for City Council District 11” or whatever, and think “Huh, I guess it’s city council election time again.” and then start paying attention to the signs and/or newspaper to find out when the actual election is scheduled.

I can totally see how if something wasn’t well publicized in a small town miles away from the polling locations, that it might sail entirely under the radar.

But she wasn’t hospitalized. That’s what I find amusing about the story, that the woman that gathered the signatures in order to call the election didn’t make time to vote.

Looks like they have a big enough church in town that they could probably co-opt to use for a city meeting, argue the question and hold a live vote. For a town that size, it seems like a sensible way to handle it.

Or the second, if Nov. 1 falls on a Tuesday.