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mandate from the electorate

Our local election just completed elicited comment in our local weekly, which triggered comment from me. It relates very much to all elections I’ve observed. Here is part 1:

What can we safely conclude from Kuna’s November 8th election? Many people will talk about “the mandate” for the elected to do this or that, but there are several things that deserve consideration. Today I’ll start by discussing WHO sent signals last week.

Of approximately 10,000 adults living in Kuna, the polls returned the following number of votes:

Greg … 1098 … 11%
Richard … 603 … 6%
Scott … 358 … 4%
total votes … 2059 … 21%
not voting … 7941 … 79%

Joe … 1197 … 12%
Briana … 887 … 9%
Jeff … 393 … 4%
Dan … 325 … 3%
Warren … 310 … 3%
David … 224 … 2%
Chris … 219 … 2%
Ted … 209 … 2%
Ernie … 153 … 2%
total votes … 3764 … 38%
not voting … 6236 … 62%

What jumps out immediately is that 62% of the adults in Kuna DID NOT VOTE any of the above for city council and 79% DID NOT VOTE any of the above for mayor. You can write off some of them as too lazy to go to the polls, but how about the 1,705 who voted for council but did not vote for mayor… too lazy to make a second mark on their ballot? … doesn’t follow.

What we can know for sure is that there were 7,941 personal reasons to not vote for mayor in this election. Guesses as to what those reasons were can include not knowing who the candidates were, not wanting to know them, not seeing anyone worth voting for, not wanting to endorse the process … well, you can make them up, but for sure those people DID NOT give anyone a mandate to make rules governing their lives or their community.

While anyone can theorize about what the 10% were requesting with their winning votes for the new Kuna City Council, we can know for certain that 90% of the adults in Kuna did not authorize Utopian spending plans with our tax dollars, nor did ‘the voice of the people’ say they loved anything the past, present or future councils may want to put in place to manage the populace or property hereabouts.

Any elected official running around with visions of endorsement should keep in mind that nine out of ten people they pass DID NOT VOTE FOR THEM.