Democracy Dies a Low Turnout Death


Gerald Maib for The Easterner

By The Easterner Editorial Board

Congratulations are in order for the individuals selected to make up the 2017-2018 ASEWU. Congratulations are also in order for the just-as-exclusive group of people that turned out to vote for them.

According to the unofficial election results posted by ASEWU, the general election had a total voter count of 779. That’s only about 8 percent of the almost 10,000 EWU students eligible to vote.

Comparatively, an estimated 60 percent of eligible voters participated in the 2016 presidential election, the U.S. being on the lower end for voter turnout in developed countries, according to a 2016 article from the Pew Research Center.

Meaning that the EWU student body would need over 5,000 more people to turn out for elections to match the United States’ poor numbers.

We would say it’s a bad thing that our governing body has been decided by less than 10 percent of the affected population, but apparently no one else has a problem with it as voter turnouts have been markedly low for a number of years.

ASEWU does a pretty good job of posting election times and introducing people to the candidates. They put up posters and hold public forums and they even made it as simple as visiting a website to vote.

So, why do we spit in the face of our Eagle democracy? Are we communists or just lazy?

Think to yourself, non-voting students of EWU; what is something you dislike about your campus? What would you like to change or improve? How can your school be better than it is?

ASEWU is there to help you make these changes. Your candidate could have helped cultivate EWU into the school you’ve always wanted it to be.

Our student government and fellow students need you to be a driving force for change and improvement. Not that 92 percent seem to care though.

As politicians who are meant to support and advocate for the students of EWU, we should hold ASEWU to a high standard of conduct. But how can we expect them to act in the best interests of the student body if the student body doesn’t seem to care about its government?

So next election turnout and vote. Run for office. Make your voice heard.

You have a powerful influence as one of a population of only about 10,000. Even more so if the poor voter numbers continue.