Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Editorials

Editorial: Vote — or a minority of the electorate will decide your future without you

40%of Americans who were eligible to vote for president in 2016 just didn’t bother. That number dwarfs the portion of all eligible voters who cast a ballot for President Donald Trump — 27.6 percent — or, for that matter, Hillary Clinton, 28.8 percent. You read that right: More people didn’t vote at all than those who voted for either major party candidate. A healthy democracy requires a healthy electorate, and with the Florida primary looming on Aug. 28 and an important midterm election coming in November, voters need to turn out or a minority of the electorate will call the shots.

The Pew Research Center has released a major study of the demographics of voters and non-voters (https://pewrsr.ch/2MEK82Z). It compared poll responses of its American Trends Panel, a nationally representative group of randomly selected U.S. adults, with actual voter records and other data to establish firmly who voted, who didn’t and the nature of their politics.

The more educated are likelier to vote, as are those who are better off financially. Whites are likelier to vote than non-whites. But the most stunning number was the lack of turnout among voters ages 18 to 29. That age group made up only 13 percent of voters who cast ballots in 2016, while those 65 and older made up 27 percent. Yet, the number of 18- to 29-year-olds is roughly the same as the number of people 65 and older. Let’s hope the activism of the Parkland students and young people like them changes those numbers for the better this year.

The 2016 presidential election certainly made clear that elections have consequences for all Americans, not just for those who choose to vote. And yet a strong plurality of eligible voters stayed home that year and, in so doing, let barely a quarter of eligible voters pick the president who will have long-term impact on the makeup of the Supreme Court, civil rights and America’s standing in the world. The Pew survey showed that the vast majority of Trump voters still have "very warm" feelings toward him.

A record number of women are seeking seats in Congress this year, choices between the political parties’ candidates are clear, and the control of the U.S. House, a U.S. Senate seat and the governor all hang in the balance. Voters will also decide on 13 amendments to the Florida Constitution. This is an important year for all who are eligible to vote, particularly younger voters, to make themselves heard. Voting by mail or voting early can ease the burden on those who find polling places inconvenient to reach or the hours too restrictive. Floridians should not let a minority of the electorate decide their future.

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Tuesday’s letters: Honor Flight restored my faith in America

Dogs are the best | Letter, Sept. 15Honor Flight restored my faith in AmericaJust as I was about to give up on our country due to divisiveness and and the divisions among its people and politicians, my pride was restored. As a member of the recen...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Editorial cartoons for Sept. 18

From Times wires
Published: 09/17/18

Column: We’re measuring the economy all wrong

Ten years after the collapse of Lehman Bros., the official economic statistics — the ones that fill news stories, television shows and presidential tweets — say that the U.S. economy is fully recovered.The unemployment rate is lower tha...
Published: 09/17/18
Editorial: Senate should delay vote on Kavanaugh

Editorial: Senate should delay vote on Kavanaugh

The Senate and the nation needs to hear more about the sexual assault allegation against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Setting aside Kavanaugh's judicial record, his political past and the hyper-partisan divide over his nomination, a no...
Published: 09/17/18
Editorial: Tampa council has another chance to show it takes Stovall House changes seriously

Editorial: Tampa council has another chance to show it takes Stovall House changes seriously

The Tampa City Council has yet to hear a compelling reason to allow a private social club in a residential neighborhood off Bayshore Boulevard, and a final meeting on the matter scheduled for Thursday offers the council a chance to show the diligence...
Published: 09/14/18
Editorial: Focus on Hurricane Florence, not defending poor response in Puerto Rico

Editorial: Focus on Hurricane Florence, not defending poor response in Puerto Rico

Hurricane Florence began lashing down on the Carolinas Thursday and was expected to make landfall early Friday, washing over dunes, downing trees and power lines and putting some 10 million people in the path of a potentially catastrophic storm. Flor...
Published: 09/13/18
Editorial: Scott sends positive signal on Supreme Court appointments

Editorial: Scott sends positive signal on Supreme Court appointments

Gov. Rick Scott has headed down a dangerous path by announcing he has started the process to fill three upcoming vacancies on the Florida Supreme Court as he heads out the door. But to his credit, the governor indicated his "expectation’’ is that he ...
Published: 09/12/18
Updated: 09/14/18
Editorial: Stalled U.S.-Cuba relations hurting Florida business

Editorial: Stalled U.S.-Cuba relations hurting Florida business

After an encouraging start, the breakdown in America’s reset with Cuba is a loss for both sides and for the state of democracy across the region. Havana and Washington are both to blame, but the Trump administration’s hard line with Cuba is out of sy...
Published: 09/12/18
Lessons from Moonves’ ouster

Lessons from Moonves’ ouster

If the swift departure of CBS Chairman Les Moonves has a bright side, it’s that a major television network took accusations of sexual harassment against its chief executive seriously enough to hold him accountable and obtain his resignation even at t...
Published: 09/11/18
Updated: 09/14/18
Editorial: Banks should not shut down campaign accounts for marijuana ties

Editorial: Banks should not shut down campaign accounts for marijuana ties

Two banks have taken the retaliatory step of closing down the campaign account of a statewide candidate because she received contributions from the medical marijuana industry. Nikki Fried, the Democratic nominee for agriculture commissioner, has been...
Published: 09/10/18
Updated: 09/14/18