Friday, November 16, 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 didnít bother. That number dwarfs the portion of all eligible voters who cast a ballot for President Donald Trump ó 27.6 percent ó or, for that matter, Hillary Clinton, 28.8 percent. You read that right: More people didnít 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 didnít 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. Letís 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 Americaís 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 partiesí 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.

Comments
Editorial: The enormous public cost of domestic violence

Editorial: The enormous public cost of domestic violence

Domestic violence carries a huge price tag in addition to the human toll.
Updated: 11 hours ago
Editorial: Warren takes positive step to advance justice in Hillsborough

Editorial: Warren takes positive step to advance justice in Hillsborough

The Conviction Review Unit follows through on a campaign pledge to review past conviction cases.
Published: 11/14/18
Editorial: Tone down the rhetoric, focus on counting votes

Editorial: Tone down the rhetoric, focus on counting votes

President Donald Trump, Sen. Marco Rubio and Gov. Rick Scott should stop making unfounded claims of voter fraud.
Published: 11/13/18
Editorial: Get Hillsborough transit priorities in shape

Editorial: Get Hillsborough transit priorities in shape

Hillsborough County scored a historic win this month when voters approved a one-cent sales tax to pay for transportation improvements. The $9 billion or more it will generate over the next 30 years should transform mobility across the region and impr...
Published: 11/12/18
Editorial: Deadly danger of wrong-way driving

Editorial: Deadly danger of wrong-way driving

The state is taking action to minimize wrong-way crashes
Published: 11/11/18
Updated: 11/12/18
Editorial: Makeover on the Pinellas School Board

Editorial: Makeover on the Pinellas School Board

Three veterans depart, clearing the way for new faces
Published: 11/09/18
Updated: 11/12/18

Editorial: Count every vote

Elections have two parts: You vote, then count the vote. Floridians did their part by turning out in record numbers in Tuesday’s midterm elections. Now it falls to local election supervisors to ensure that every vote is accurately counted.
Published: 11/09/18
Updated: 11/12/18
Editorial: A progressive shift in Hillsborough

Editorial: A progressive shift in Hillsborough

Tuesday’s elections should create a more constructive climate in Hillsborough politics, easing the social wars in recent years between Democrats and Republicans that too often resulted in polarizing urban and suburban constituencies.
Published: 11/09/18
Editorial: A smart plan for helping mom-and-pops

Editorial: A smart plan for helping mom-and-pops

St. Petersburg would limit the size of storefronts on two commercial corridors
Published: 11/09/18

Editorial: Good houseguests

A donation of furniture to schools shows how thoughtful little things can make a big difference
Published: 11/09/18