200,000 Won’t Vote Entire Ballot



Political consultants expect that as many as 200,000 who go to the polls in Broward will not cast ballots on less visible candidates and the dozen constitutional amendments.

This is extremely frustrating to consultants, who asked not to be quoted by name because they have candidates in the November election. Its extremely frustrating to candidates, who must raising and spend money knowing a great deal of it will be wasted.

The major reason for this ballot drop off is that many voters only care about the presidential race.

A presidential race prompts what is called “low information voters” to cast ballots.  They make little attempt to educate themselves about issues and candidates beyond the presidential race. Its actually a good thing they don’t go “down ballot,” rather than cast uninformed votes.

The length of the Broward ballot this year also discourages voting on every candidate and issue.  It’s four long sheets printed on both sides. (In Pembroke Pines, add a sheet for local issues.)  At the end are 10 ponderous constitutional amendments, difficult for the average voters to wade through, much less understand.

None of this is new. Ballot drop off has been an issue every presidential year.

Four years ago, 735,079 voted in Broward for president, but in some races at the bottom of the ballot a little over 500,000 voted.  Eight years ago, 706,872 voted for president, but just over 600,000 voted on everything.

Also not new this year: More people vote in a presidential election than any other.

Leave time to find a parking space.  Expect long lines.

9 Responses to “200,000 Won’t Vote Entire Ballot”

  1. John Fusaro says:

    File for absentee, and vote from the comfort of your own home.

  2. christine says:

    So it appears that although more folks voted in the last Presidential election, fewer folks voted the rest of the ballot. Why is this a surprse? How many of those folks had never voted before, and only voted for a “black President?”

  3. Easy Vote says:

    The amendments are easy – vote NO on all of them!

  4. Independent says:

    If you look at the ballot, Amendment #12 about Student Body Presidents, you can understand why there is a drop off.

    While this is an extreme example, I have read this and it makes no sense to me, particularly on why we are even voting on it.

    This goes back to the question, do we want more voters or better educated voters? You won’t have both.

    More voters would encourage fewer more higher profiled elections (30-60% turnout).

    More educated voters would encourage more elections on specific subjects (10 to 25% turnout). Then only those that have an interest and take the time to learn the issues would vote. However, you may have better results as opposed to no vote or inney minney moe votes.

  5. just saying says:

    better to have the uninformed, disinterested or lazy just drop off, rather than randomly circle in a yes or no on an issue. don’t underestimate those of us doing our homework to vote on all items. and I thought it was 6 pages, not 4 for Broward.

  6. TDD says:

    I’d love to cast more votes for the judges if I could ever find out what their views are. And I’m aware that’s not entirely their fault.

  7. Stupid says:

    Want to know a Judges view?

    Take a subject matter that would come before a Judge in County or Circuit Court, look at the law and you have their view.

    Looks for answers for Sharia Law, Abortion, Gun Control etc have nothing to do with the cases which our local County or Circut Judges wold hear.

  8. Kevin says:

    This is exactly why all those cities in Broward moving their municipal elections to November in order to save money was penny wise and pound foolish….. only well-funded candidates have a prayer in these types of races.



    And who can raise the most money? Traditionally, incumbents. November elections make it harder to throw city hall incumbents out of office. I wrote years ago at the Sun-Sentinel and repeated here that November municipal elections are The Incumbent Protection Act.

  9. Voter says:

    fort lauderdale has an item on the ballot next month to move city elections from March to November.
    that could have passed. but their greed extended the voter mandated term limits so the ballot includes 3 four year terms instead of the 3 three year terms voters approved 14 years ago.
    it won’t pass. city voters are smarter than these clowns think