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Advertisement McIntire held a special election and the 'special' part is that nobody voted
by Dan Brawner Columnist · October 5th, 2017


The good news is that when the town of McIntire, Iowa, held a special election last month, there was absolutely no fraudulent voting. The bad news is that there was no legitimate voting either.

There was, in fact, no voting of any kind.

A voting percentage of zero would be considered low for any Iowa town. During the election of 2016, 71.2 percent of eligible Iowans voted, which is significantly higher than the national rate of 58 percent. Our well-known history of voter turnout may be why Iowa was one of 21 states the Russians tried to hack during the last presidential election. But if they hacked McIntire's last election, they wasted their money.

Sure, the town of McIntire has only 70 registered voters, but if they had met the state's average, they should have had participation from 49.84 voters. (In small towns like McIntire, every voter counts, even partial ones.)

Maybe McIntire's low turnout could be attributed to the less-than-thrilling questions on the ballot. One question was: Should the term of mayor be raised from two years to four? Now, you'd think at least the mayor himself would want to weigh in on this issue. But even he couldn't be bothered to show up to the polls. The other question was: Should the term of council members be raised from two years to four? And not even one council member voted.

This was a unique opportunity in the history of democracy. One single person could have decided the entire election. One vote could have changed the course of city government in McIntire for years to come. One civic-minded prankster could have doomed the mayor and council members to those tedious budget meetings and debates about stop sign placement for four long years to come. That would have served them right for not showing up to vote on their own jobs.

The census shows that there are 122 people living in McIntire. The median age is 49.5 years. The median income for men is $30,313, and, for women, the median income is $12,188. The number of children is ... WHAT? Men in McIntire earn almost 2 times what women make? That's crazy!

Maybe more people would have showed up to vote if one of the questions on the ballot had been: "Should women's salaries be doubled or should men's pay be cut in half?"

Former Massachusetts congressman Tip O'Neil famously said that all politics is local. And "local politics," you could argue, means those issues that affect you personally. So when there is an election - even what may look like a really boring election - it might affect you more than you think.

One thing is for sure, if anybody in McIntire is dissatisfied with the results of their recent election, they can't blame it on the Russians.
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