The Mrs. and I just got back from voting here in Northern Kentucky. As we were leaving, I asked the polling place workers how turnout had been. The comments ranged from "better than we expected" to "but still less than 100". Now, I'm not sure exactly how many people are in this polling precinct, but the registration book they have on the table is rather thick. If I were to guess, I'm going to put turnout at less than 15% for our area. The Secretary of State is predicting 10 - 12% voter turnout, while the county clerks in Northern Kentucky are expecting 7 - 20% turnout.
So, why does this concern me? It's only the primaries, right? First, Kentucky is a closed primary state, so there is no crossing over to vote in the other party's primary. Second, there were three races I could vote in today: Presidential, U.S. Congress 4th District, and State Senate 11th District. There are candidates from both parties in the Presidential and Congressional races. However, there are no Democratic party challengers in the State Senatorial race. This is not really surprising considering that Northern Kentucky is a heavy Republican area. In fact, my county is one of the few one by the Republican candidate in the latest gubernatorial race.
So, what does all this mean? It means that the State Senator for the 11th District will be picked by an exceedingly small minority of the individuals represented by that seat. Turnout will be less than 15%, and only a portion of that 15% (granted, a majority of it, but still) will be allowed to vote for the candidate. The winner of the primary will be the winner of the general election.
There is also a state congressional race in this area today, but for another portion of the county. Again, in that race there is no Democratic candidate. The winner of the Republican primary will be the winner of the general election.
To those who say "my vote doesn't count", I say Balderdash!!! Local and regional elections are typically more important anyways, and with the history of low voter turnouts, especially in non-Presidential election years, your vote absolutely does count.
I don't WANT this much power, but I don't dare not vote.