The Radford City Council with the support of the Radford School Board has recently decided to keep city council and school board elections in May instead of piggy-backing them onto the November elections. One of the major reasons given for keeping these elections in May, even though voter turnout is always low, is because “quality of voters” is preferred by city council and the school board to “quantity”. As it was explained, by holding these local elections in May, only people who are interested and informed will come out to vote, whereas if these local elections were held in November in conjunction with state and national elections, a lot of people might come out to vote for President and other offices, but these people may not be informed on the local issues and races. Quality of voters is preferred to quantity.
Let me translate this for you.
The Radford City Council and School Board are full of elitists who think ordinary people are too ignorant to be allowed to vote for or against them. The local yokels can vote for President of the United States, Congress, Governor of Virginia, the Virginia legislature, and whatever else, but God forbid these hayseeds who just fell off the turnip truck should be encouraged to vote for city council and school board seats. No, no, no. The Radford City Council and School Board are much too important to allow the vast unwashed masses to decide who will serve. Only the educated elites who study local issues intensely and who will make the effort to come out and vote in an obscure local election held in May should be allowed to make this vastly important decision. All you others can go vote for President of the United States, but you’re not to sully our city council and school board elections.
Most observers of the political scene decry low voter turnout as one of the biggest problems in elections. Many proposals have been made to increase voter turnout, such as mail-in ballots, holding elections on Saturday, making registration easier, and others. Regardless of the merits of these ideas, the intent is good: Increase voter turnout. Yet here we have the Radford City Council and School Board taking steps that they fully admit are for the specific purpose of perpetuating a low voter turnout!
The real reason for this is not because of some high minded concern for the civic good, it’s so the elitists on city council and the school board can more easily pack the polls with their cronies and supporters thereby ensuring them a permanent job.