It it not so much that Anchorage voters on Tuesday re-elected incumbents, changed the makeup of the Assembly, saddled the city with millions in new debt, increased mortgage payments and dodged the city charter to adopt an already-failed sales tax that is the real disappointment.
It is that so few of us made all that happen.
Election results as of late yesterday showed only 52,425 of the city’s 232,298 registered voters made those decisions. That amounts to something like 23 percent of registered voters, or fewer than one in four.
So much for civic duty and exercising hard-won rights. So much for taking a role, having a voice, in the future of the city. Anchorage has a history of lousy voter turnouts, but Tuesday’s mail-in election, while among the most shameful, certainly was not the worst.
Politicians love it when voters do not bother to vote. It gives them carte blanche – to tax, to spend, to do as they please. If so many voters cannot find the time or inclination to vote – even with the implementation of mail-in voting – it is only going to be a matter of time before Anchorage becomes even more like Seattle, or San Francisco, or New York.
And that is a real disappointment.