I finally found the actual results from the special election on Tuesday to fill the Ward 5 city council spot. I had to go to the board of elections to find it.
Actually I found a link on the Brookland Yahoo group that I'm part of. The Post told you who won and what the percentages were but never the actual number of votes for each candidate.
That's become one of my pet peeves with the way elections are reported that fact that actual raw vote total is reported less and less often. You get percentages like one candidate got 60 percent of the votes cast. Sounds like the guy won by a landslide. Well what if only 100 people voted. Not as much of a landslide when you know that fact.
Also what is rarely or never reported is the actual number of voters registered to vote. Many times the winning candidate will say they've received a mandate from the voters. Let's take my example above a candidate gets 60 percent of the vote. Let's say 1 million people voted. I'd say that certainly sounds like a mandate to me. But let's say this is a big state and number of registered voters in the state is 5 million. Suddenly that big mandate doesn't seem all that big. Although, the winning candidate got 60 percent of the votes cast, he ends up with only 12 percent of eligible voters supporting him. Not all that big of a mandate is it.
The results for the Ward 5 election are nothing short of dismal. As you can see below (click on the picture to get a larger view). The percentage turnout was barely 15 percent. The winning candidate got a little over 4,000 votes.
I was deluged with direct mail and phone calls about the candidates and when the election was. You couldn't walk down any street in Ward 5 without seeing campaign posters in people's yards and attached to any and ever sign. And still only 15 percent of the people bothered to vote. I think that is sad. This non-participation is part of the reason gridlock seems to grip just about every elected body in this country.
Like I said just sad.