There was a low voter percentage for the Mayoral and City council election on Tuesday, November 8 in Merced County. Much lower when compared to the 2008 election, a huge voter cutback was recorded. It is believed that the reason why nearly two thirds of Merced country voters showed up in the 2008 election was to elect Barack Obama to the presidency.
In past elections, Merced County usually gets about 30 percent on average of the population to vote in an election. However, only about 24 percent voted in the past election, which were only 7,321 people of the total of 29, 708 people who were eligible.
"In city and district elections, on odd number years, percentages have been lower. And in a presidential election, we can get up to 60 percent," stated Stacey Cotter, the county's assistant Registrar of Voters.
The low voter turnout caused many concerns since it is necessary to raise the community votes in order to represent the district. Some of the main concerns students at UC Merced had about the election were that they might not have been aware of the election date and where the election would take place. Also, students might feel having little influence to vote as a UC Merced student, but they all have the potential power to make a difference.
The community notices the great influences UC Merced students make within the public. "You are going to see a major change in the next several years when UC students wake up and realize they have a lot of power. You may even see a student become mayor one day," said Councilman Carlisle. UC Merced has great-educated students that are seen to become leaders in the future, which shows the representation of a scholarly population in the Merced community.
UC Merced junior, Carolina Navarro, who is registered as a Merced county voter said, “I was not aware of the election and probably would have voted online if I was informed. Usually I receive a form in the mail telling me about the upcoming election, but I guess not this time. Voting is important to me to have the suitable city council directing the community.”
Each vote makes a difference, whether it is a presidential or city council election. Stan Thurston received the most votes with 2, 231, winning the race to become Merced’s next mayor. He will besworn in on December 5, 2011.
If students or faculty have any further questions on voting registration in Merced County, they are encouraged to visit www.mercedelections.orgor call (209) 385- 7541.