Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Referendum Results Analysis
Nope, this was voting as usual for Laurel. Steadfast, thoughtful and less than 10% of the registered voters. Laurel voters are predictable and that is who voted in the referendum today.
Voters very strongly opposed council members serving four year terms, by nearly a 3 to 1 margin. The voters also rejected any pay raises by good margins. Voters strongly favor changing the municipal voting date and also extending the current council to allow this change.
The voting by ward issue seems to be the only tossup issue and could flip if all of the outstanding absentee votes are returned by next Tuesday and if they all oppose ward voting.
So what does this all really mean? Not much at all by my reckoning.
The goal of this effort was to find ways to increase votor turnout. Approximately 800 people cast votes so far. Considering all of the hype, hand wringing and litigation surrounding this referendum, this turnout is shamefully low.
If people are supposedly this riled up but only 800 of us could drag ourselves to the polls, then I don't think this foreshadows any new grassroots voter movement in Laurel.
For a complete history of Laurel City voting patterns from 1972 to 2006 click here.
Here are brief election results from 2006-1992 for comparison with today: