We’re less than 24 hours away from Election Day – where my million-dollar question is whether more than one million New Yorkers will even bother to vote.
Four years ago, a record-low 24 percent of registered voters showed up to cast their ballots but that number is in jeopardy after a lackluster campaign season. While Bill de Blasio certainly has major achievements to point to like pre-K, his game of footsie with some of his political donors and consultants has hardly made it seem like the wind of change is sweeping through City Hall. Voters feel that they have few choices – which is why so many of them will likely stay home tomorrow.
Should we dip below 2013’s putrid turnout numbers, we need to figure out why so many people are disengaged from a political process that’s supposedly directly connected to their own backyard. It’s great to rail about President Trump or rally around his flag but if we don’t bother to vote, we can’t start to fight City Hall.
Conversely, the mayor and other prominent politicians need to figure out why so few people are bothering to vote – and then do something about it. Same-day registration and early voting would definitely provide a boost but that doesn’t explain a massive dropoff between voting in mayoral elections and a presidential election last year in which more than 2.7 million people cast their ballots in the city. The late House Speaker Tip O’Neill loved to remind people that all politics is local - and if that’s truly the case, we’re in deep trouble.