I would publicly like to congratulate Scott Malsin and Jeff Cooper on their election victory to the Culver City Council.
However, I am disappointed in the extremely low turnout of 5058 out of 24,121 registered voters. This means that only 1 in 5 voters chose to have a say on who would be running our city government. A further breakdown of the polling data shows that Malsin with 2,911 votes will have a mandate of only 12% of the registered voters and Cooper with 2486 votes cast will have a 10.3% mandate.
Why was the voter turnout so low? Quite simply. Most people don’t go to the polls when there isn’t a general election. Blame it on the City Charter which “provides that there shall be an election in our City on the second Tuesday of April of each even numbered year”.
Now if the City Charter were changed so that elections would be consolidated with the general election that is held on the Tuesday after the first Monday of November of even numbered years, the voter turnout could triple to 60%!
How would that change things? The increase in voter participation would dilute the power of the political machine that can call on the loyalty of roughly 2500 supporters to vote any given way of their choosing! It is no secret among the “insiders” that run things in this city that Alan Corlin’s “political machine” successfully backed Cooper and Malsin.
According to their March 27 campaign disclosure statements, Malsin recieved $31,216 in campaign contributions and Cooper recieved $22,068. Poor Megan recieved $38,978.66 and came up short 32 votes. (Just think. I supported Megan over Cooper as a second choice. If 16 more voters had chosen me as their 2nd choice over Cooper when voting for Megan, Megan would have won!) I got only $307 in donations.. I think I got more bang for my buck on my 770 votes than the rest of the candidates.
In an effort to get more participation in our democratic process, I will be seeking help from the voters of our city to change the city charter. I can be contacted at [email protected]