City Council and Referendum for Election Reform
How Ventura is Really Governed
[Look to the right, look to the left, blame your Neighbor!]
In August we provided our readers information about the November City Council elections, listed the candidates and urged our citizens to vote. This was an important election but your neighbors did not vote. Why? What do the statistics tell us?
Interpreting The Election Results
There are 67,807 eligible voters in the city of Ventura, but 18,945 (28%) of the registered voters voted. There were three open seats so each voter would potentially case three votes in this election. The Ventura County Elections division reported that 47, 062 votes were cast. This would mean the average voter voted for 2.48 candidates.
If we start with the total vote count for the 3 winning candidates (20,398), then subtract that number from the total number of votes cast(47,062), a higher percentage (26,664 or 57%) of voters wanted someone other than those who were elected.
If we extrapolate, using the total of 67,807 registered voters times 3 votes per ballot; the potential number of votes that could be cast would total 203,421. If we then compare the total number of votes received by the three winning candidates to that number it means that these new council members were put into office receiving only 10% (20,398) of the potential vote.
One incumbent proclaimed that his reelection was a resounding approval of his and the City Council’s past performance. Perhaps to his 6,793 supporters, but before we consider the election results as a barometer of public opinion, or that this vote represents a mandate, it should be observed that 72% of the registered voters did not care enough to even vote, and of the voters that did vote 57% of them did not support those who were elected.
Another way to look at this is by adding 48,862 of those who did not vote to the 56.66% (10,734) who did not support the winners; it would mean that 59,596 or 88% of the eligible registered voters did not support these candidates.
The first issue this election exemplifies is that too many candidates provide an advantage for the incumbents to be reelected. When 57% of the voters wanted change but did not get it, it would indicate a need to consider a run off election as part of the Ventura election process of the top 5-6 candidates.
The second issue is that the “special interest” groups are likely controlling how we are governed because they are getting the “Vote Out” for the candidates that support their agenda, while 72% of the eligible registered voters in Ventura did nothing.
NOVEMBER ELECTION STATISTICS
|Registration & Turnout|
|Vote By Mail Turnout||12,691||18.72%|
|SAN BUENAVENTURA City Council|
|KENNETH M. COZZENS||5,564||11.82%|
|CARLA J. BONNEY||3,981||8.46%|
|MELODY JOY BAKER||952||2.02%|
|MARTIN A. ARMSTRONG||1,377||2.93%|
|BRIAN LEE RENCHER||3,307||7.03%|
|CARL E. MOREHOUSE||6,793||14.43%|
To a large extent, we are preaching to the choir when we say that one of the issues is getting the vote out because we believe MOST of our readers do vote. However, statistical analysis shows that too many are still on the sidelines.
It is a sad commentary on our community when the citizens do not vote, do not care to vote, make no effort to participate in their government, nor do anything to monitor the government bureaucracy that governs our everyday lives.
We also believe that there must be a movement to change the election process, allowing a runoff, to allow voters to voice their true feelings and not have their vote diluted among a field of 11-14 candidates.
The apathy of the non-voting public in this community is disheartening. We at VREG are encouraged by the people of other nations who are willing to stake their lives just to earn the freedom to vote.
B. Alviani K. Corse T. Cook
J. Tingstrom R. Mccord S. Doll
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