CommunityPam's House Blend

Pathetic turnout on primary day

I almost forgot to post about yesterday’s primary elections here. Our current mayor, Bill Bell, destroyed the competition, with 88% of the vote.

According to the write-up in the Durham Herald-Sun, only 10.9 percent of the city’s 118,098 registered voters turned out (that’s almost a third lower than the 2003 primary and the lowest in at least a decade). I don’t want to hear any belly-aching from my fellow citizens about anything.

When I went to vote around 11:30 AM, there were only two people in the polling station besides me, and the election official was reclined back in a portable chair he brought in. He looked as though he was about to enter R.E.M. sleep any minute.

I see Kathy at Birmingham Blues is sad that only 25% of the folks in that city bothered to vote. You’ve got something to be proud of in comparison to the slackers here.


The real news, however, is that about 180 of my fellow Durhamites are complete morons, casting invalid votes for a mayoral candidate whose name was still on the ballot but who dropped out of the race. When I flipped on the local news to see how things turned out, I saw 183 votes were cast for Vincent Brown on the crawl at the bottom of the screen. My jaw dropped.

Brown bowed out when it was revealed that he had a mile-long rap sheet. His slogan was “A New Beginning.” I suppose he was referring to a new identity for himself. Among his untouted qualifications to serve:

* writing worthless checks
* simple assault
* fraud
* providing fictitious information to a police officer
* possessing a weapon on school grounds
* violating probation
* failing to pay income tax
* driving without a license (it was permanently revoked in 1992)
* promoting the prostitution of a minor (with three charges involving the same victim).

This was all over the papers, yet 183 knobends still voted for the guy. They can’t all be relatives and friends.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding