It is rare for a politician to publicly deride efforts to boost voter turnout. It is seen as a taboo in a country that prides itself on its democratic ideals. Yet, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie last week slammed efforts to simplify voter registration.
“What if they gave an election and no one came?” That’s a paraphrase of a war or anti-war cry of the 1960s. More than 40 years later in Los Angeles, the nation’s second-largest city, the cliché came alive in reports of Tuesday’s municipal election, where turnout has dropped to 16 percent, half the number of people who turned out for local elections only eight years ago.