Episode Information

WWL: Spotlight on Local Elections
Where We Live - with John Dankosky
Aired:
11/03/2009
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In this episode:

Why municipal elections matter

 

Episode Audio

49:01 minutes (23.53 MB)
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More than 2 million Connecticut residents are registered to vote in today’s municipal elections, but less than 40% are expected to actually cast a ballot.

Last year’s presidential elections prompted record breaking turnout across Connecticut and across the country. Sure, there was plenty of excitement about the presidential race - but why do we get all fired up to cast one vote out of millions for the country’s top job but we cant be bothered to cast a ballot for our town council seat?

Today, Where We Live, we’ll kick off a day of municipal election coverage – which we’ll continue later on the Colin McEnroe Show.

We’ll talk to Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz and political scientist Anthony Dell’Aera about why voter turnout is so low during local elections – and what can be done to get more people out to vote.

We’ll also check in with some political observers and reporters around the state about some of the tight races to watch for.

And, we want to hear from you – did you vote? What did you see at the polls? Why do you get involved in local elections... or why not.


 
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Tonight's election

     I'm a registered East Haven Democrat who didn't vote today, as I really can't vote

 for the current mayor, due  to her appearance on a local talk radio show after the

 beach incident, JOKING about it, despite being advised not to, right during the show!!!

 A real lapse of judgement that I cannot ignore.... (sorry!)     Annie

Listener Email from Rebecca

I wanted to call in, but I have a work meeting coming up.

I vote in the municipal elections because I have a son in the school system, and I attend the town meetings every year and watch the debate on our town (and especially education) budget. I am familiar with most of the local politicians from these meetings, and have a good sense of who is good and whom to vote for. I feel it is very important, especially in a town like Farmington where we have contentious budget votes every year.

My husband is from Europe, and he was surprised at how little information is out there for people who are not actively involved in local politics. There are the signs in town (which really serve no useful purpose), and mailings that people send you with little information on their actual positions. Only one of the mailings that we received this year had a website adderss on it. Usually they contain a lot of fluff, like the fact that the candidate is a father, or their work background. In Europe, information on local candidates is a lot more accessible.

Great show!
Rebecca

Listener Email

I wouldn't want to overstate the negative effect of uncontested races. In small towns, such as the one I live in, that happens simply because members of both parties like the incumbent, regardless of his or her party affiliation. There really isn't a Republican or Democratic way to be First Selectman of a town of 4000 people. And we have a very vigorous zoning commission race this year that is going to boost turnout. So it's really not accurate to generalize about these things.,

Listener Email from Dennis

I can't speak to everyone but I think that there are three major types of voters. The Engaged who follow all aspects of the process, moderately engaged who get their information from TV and/or radio snippets and the disengaged who just don't care.

I think that there are many more people who are moderately engaged and don't really know what the local candidates stand for because they don't seek out the local information that is not broadcasted on national or even state networks.

Essentially I think that many just don't know who to vote for in the local elections because the information about them must be sought out and is not feed to them via national network TV as it is with the presidential elections.