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7-Nov-2017 Middletown Voter Turnout

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Category: Middletown Community
Forum Name: A Better Middletown
Forum Description: A discussion about how to make Middletown a Better Place
Printed Date: Feb 18 2019 at 9:29am

Topic: 7-Nov-2017 Middletown Voter Turnout
Posted By: middletownscouter
Subject: 7-Nov-2017 Middletown Voter Turnout
Date Posted: Nov 08 2017 at 11:43am

Note: While this post is about the election results, putting it in this forum because it isn't about a single race but about the results in general and the lack of engagement in the process by the vast majority of those who have the privilege to help shape our local government and decide it's future.

So the election results are in, and the big takeaway here isn't in who won or who lost, but in the turnout.

There are a grand total of 49,260 registered voters among all the precincts that had Middletown area races (City Council, School Board or Municipal Court) on their ballots.  These span over two counties (Butler & Warren) and multiple municipalities (Middletown obviously, and also Trenton and then some or all of Lemon, Madison, Franklin and Turtlecreek Townships).  The total (unofficial yet counted complete) results are that a total of 10,688 of those voters went to their polling places and cast a ballot yesterday (or did so early or via absentee ballot), for a whopping 21.70% total turnout.

This honestly, given that it is an off-year for elections, seems to be decent turnout compared to previous elections.  The key word here is compared to, because those turnouts frankly suck.

38,572 registered voters couldn't be bothered to go to the polls.  That’s 78.3%, far and away the overwhelming majority of voters.

What does that tell us?  That’s they’ve tried and given up because they don’t like previous results?  That they don’t think their voice makes a difference?  It’s possible.  Or that they simply don't care anymore, or have never cared enough to be involved in the process?    Far more likely.  One thing it tells us is that all the rhetoric on both sides of the aisle/fence/chambers/whatever saying the majority of Middletonians feel one way or the other is just patently false.  The majority of Middletonians appear not to care one way or the other.

So maybe we all dial back the rhetoric a bit moving forward and figure out what needs to be done to get the majority of Middletonians to care enough about what is going on in this city to be even somewhat remotely involved in the process?

Until then anytime we see someone saying that the majority of the people in this town think one way or another, know that you're just making it up because the numbers prove the majority don't care enough to have an opinion.

[If you're wondering where I got these figures, you can see the spreadsheet I created at" rel="nofollow - .  I pulled all those numbers straight from both the Butler and Warren County Boards of Election websites.]

Posted By: middletownscouter
Date Posted: Nov 07 2018 at 1:41pm
I updated the spreadsheet linked in my above post to include a tab for yesterday's turnout results.

Turnout overall went WAY up.  More than double.  Overall turnout went from 21.7% last year to 46.24% on average from all the precincts that vote in any Middletown elections (Council, Schools or Judge).  Which is really good improvement.  But in the end it's still less than half of registered voters engaging in the process.

There are two types of people: those that talk the talk and those that walk the walk. People who walk the walk sometimes talk the talk but most times they don't talk at all, 'cause they walkin.'

Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: Nov 07 2018 at 8:25pm
Speaking of voting, I'd like to ask a few questions of the forum participants.

When you walked up to the ballot station to cast your votes, were you as surprised as I was to see the Middletown issues on the ballot? Did the Journal publish any stories on these issues or did I just miss them in my daily reading of the Journal? I don't remember them being brought to our attention before the voting began.

They all passed by a wide margin but I was troubled about the subject matter of the issues. For example, to ask the voters to abolish the ward system and take the number of council people from 7 to 5 was done years ago. Just wondering why it was revisited again. Does this put the final nail in the coffin for ever considering going back to 7 members and a ward system ever again? Is having 5 council people roaming the entire city better than dedicated council people representing just the people in the areas they are responsible for and live in? Would the people of the ward get better representation if the council person was from their ward? Would that council person know their ward better than having to take on the entire city as to knowledge of each individual sector of town? Probably doesn't matter which way is used. I don't see any of the council people being effective in representing the people anyway. Pretty much absent on the job IMO. When was the last time a council person was interested in what the people had to say via a public forum? Decades ago I would think.

Secondly, the issue we all voted on yesterday concerning eliminating city information from being published that a wise move to let the city leaders withhold information from the citizens? Doesn't this suggest that now we are no longer an "open to the public" type of city government? Does this give them a license to withhold information because they know they don't have to be accountable through publication of city business? Just asking to understand why there were so many yes votes to allow for a more inward, less accountable, closed city government.

Or am I reading all of this wrong? Anyone?

I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.

Posted By: itsamee
Date Posted: Nov 08 2018 at 9:30am
For the second one, if I am not mistaken, I believe they still publish it, just on the web instead of in the newspaper. Why not both? Don't know. But I think it makes it more accessible on the web as the Newspapers are seeing declining subscribers. 

Itsa me, mario!

Posted By: middletownscouter
Date Posted: Nov 08 2018 at 9:32am
I checked the sample ballot on the Butler County Board of Elections website prior to the election, so I knew about them ahead of time.  After reading into them my understanding wasn't that things would be withheld or done away with, but updated to reflect the information age we now find ourselves living in today.

#6 - Agreed, the ward system and reduction in council member numbers was changed years ago.  I think the end of 2013 was the last time there was an active council member who was elected by a ward.  The last election for a ward council member appears to have been November 2011.  It appears that this was a ballot initiative to allow for updating the physical charter to remove those now unused references.  Why this wasn't part of the initial change years ago seems odd.  The pros and cons of the Ward system versus the direct elect system we have now would be an entire thread to itself so I'll leave it be for now.

#7 - The city wants to stop keeping a copy of the annual report on file at the Public Library and instead make it available electronically on the city website.  Not taking away the requirement to publish the information, just changing the method of publication.  I have no problem with with publishing on the website but wasn't sure why we couldn't do both.  It doesn't hurt to have a paper copy available at the library, but in all honesty when was the last time a citizen went to the library and pulled the paper copy to review?  Putting it out digitally on the website in a pdf format could lead to more visibility as it is easier to cite and link to across multiple platforms such as this one, facebook, etc.

#8 - This seems to also be somewhat similar to #7.  They're not eliminating the requirement to publish all the legal notices, they're just changing from the "local newspaper" (which we really don't have anymore anyway ever since the Middletown Journal was closed up and we got folded into the Journal-News), to the city website.  I didn't personally have a problem with this once since like I said, we don't really have a local newspaper anymore.

There are two types of people: those that talk the talk and those that walk the walk. People who walk the walk sometimes talk the talk but most times they don't talk at all, 'cause they walkin.'

Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: Nov 08 2018 at 10:05am
Thank you for your explanations. This time, the proposals from the city have no damage done as a result. Appreciate your input.

I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.

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