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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

In Frank Jackson Era, Voter Turnout for Mayoral Elections Has Plummeted

Posted By on Tue, Nov 7, 2017 at 1:58 PM

click to enlarge THE CITY CLUB
  • The City Club
Among other equally dubious achievements, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson has presided over an era of abysmal voter turnout in municipal elections.

In each of his successive mayoral races, fewer total voters came out to the polls, (20,000 fewer voters each time, in fact, a startling statistic). Jackson's famous dearth of charisma, and a subservient city council, likely have much to do with precipitating this unprecedented voter apathy.

When he was first elected in 2005, beating out incumbent Jane Campbell,  99,000 people cast their votes. (This was a steep decline from 2001, when 110,000 voters participated in electing Campbell over Raymond Pierce).

But in 2009, when Jackson defeated Bill Patmon, only 79,000 people voted for Mayor. In 2013, when Jackson defeated Ken Lanci, only 59,000 people voted. That's less than 25 percent turnout for a mayoral election in a major American city, a disgrace.

Voters can buck this ugly trend today. Remember: It's not your fault that you've been discouraged and disenfranchised. As of 1:13 p.m., according to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, 33,795 Clevelanders had voted in the election, which includes the mayoral contest between Jackson and City Councilman Zack Reed. Cleveland is home to 262,052 eligible voters, which puts the current turnout just under 13 percent.

So if you haven't yet voted, get out there and do it. And if you don't know your polling location, you can look it up here.


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