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Nothing will change if you don’t vote

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

OPINION

BY LEN CABRERA

I’m as cynical as anyone, but one thing I know for sure is that your vote doesn’t count if you don’t vote. There’s lots of talk locally and nationally about “threats to democracy,” but the people in power clearly only want people on their team to vote. They can’t even allow campaign signs that challenge them.

Did you know there was a big voting event yesterday just outside the Supervisor of Elections office, organized at the request of the county commission? There were food trucks, activities, music, and speakers who told attendees to vote for Democrats, vote for an additional half-cent sales tax, and vote against single-member districts. 1,053 ballots were cast, and 684 of them were cast by registered Democrats. That’s 65% Democrats in a county where only 47.6% of registered voters are Democrats. By the County’s equity standards, that’s evidence of a systemic problem.

On that last day of Early Voting, the only polling place was in downtown Gainesville – an extra day of convenient Early Voting, conveniently located close to neighborhoods that are dominated by Democrats.

The “Souls to the Polls” event is an open-secret rally for Democrats, as if they needed the help in this single-party-controlled county. None of their “separation of church and state” memes matter when they use pulpits to push their political agenda. Imagine the outrage if the only polling place open had been in Newberry with a pro-life rally and a gun show. That would’ve been shut down faster than a skate park can be filled with mulch.

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As of the end of Early Voting, here’s the breakdown of votes:

There are about 56,000 Democrats, 33,000 Republicans, and 37,000 others who have yet to vote. In the August 2022 Primary, about 41% of Democrat ballots came in on Election Day. If we assume the same pattern for tomorrow’s turnout, a total of around 50,000 Democrats will eventually vote. That means that if people who are dissatisfied with our local governance show up in force (about 25,000 more of them combined, which only requires about 35% turnout for non-Democrats who have not yet voted), those votes could outnumber the Democrats voting for the status quo. That may be a tall order given the pathetic primary turnout (about 30% overall and only 12% for NPAs).

If you’ve waited until Election Day to vote–and especially if you plan to vote after work–be prepared to wait. On August 23, lines formed in High Springs and Newberry after those precincts ran out of Republican ballots. The Supervisor of Elections has promised that won’t happen again, but even if there are enough ballots, there are likely to be lines tomorrow. Bring something to read and maybe a bottle of water and be prepared to wait. The polls close at 7 p.m., but if you are in line by then, you will get a chance to vote.

If you’re still trying to figure out who to vote for, our Voting Guide is here. If you sit on the sidelines, you guarantee the same types of candidates that brought us higher utility rates, more crime, more panhandlers, lower-performing schools, and California-style zoning laws. Help end the madness.

  • The food trucks must have been giving away “free food.”
    We know that’s the Democrats’ modus operandi for continuing their reign of terror, I mean power.

    With the turnout, it’s not difficult to determine who’s carrying society and who’s burdening it.

  • Well done Len. I have lived in Florida all my life and Gainesville for over 40 years. I’m a lifelong Democrat. I am also a Florida swing voter. The Dems have gone nuts and I can’t stand Trump but I still vote every election. This year was a first for me. I voted straight down the Republican line. Even for some I don’t like either. It’s the Demwits ruining this country. God help us. Yes, it’s that serious.

  • Yes!!!! Get the Lauren Poe disaster finally shut down, including his ignorant and misguided wannabes like Six-gun Ward and Lying Hyphen-Hayes (fake minority). These idiots have almost bankrupted this city with stupid self-serving ideas and reckless spending and raises. Get out to vote!!!

  • Remember: a “no-vote” in Alachua County is the same as a vote for Democrats.

    Get your tail out there and vote. Stop being lazy.

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