Off Year Elections

A Fool In NH Column Heading

It’s Almost Election Day!!
What did you say?
Election Day?
No Way!
But it’s true.
This is what is called an “off year” election. I believe they call it that because, unlike other years, everything about it is a little “off”. It’s not quite normal. At least what we have come to consider normal as far as elections go.
Unless you live in certain areas, you won’t even realize it is almost Election Day. There won’t be the daily delivery of oversized political mailers that tell you how bad the other candidates are.
You won’t be bothered by smiley, enthusiastic (and soon to be disappointed), young campaign workers who will come to your door and try to persuade you to vote for their candidate.
You won’t have your favorite commercials about your favorite pharmaceutical be displaced by one ad after another for someone or the other who is running for something.
It will almost seem normal, like nothing is happening. As if there is nothing to worry about.
But don’t be fooled.
There just still might be an election going on in your town or city that you don’t even know about.
It might for your local school board, or for your city council or even a ballot question about something or other that one day suddenly has an effect in your town and you say: “Hey, when in the heck did this happen?” or “How in the heck did he become a city councilor? No one asked me” only to be embarrassed to find out that there was an election and you didn’t know anything about it.
Of course, there were the letters to the editor in the local paper telling you to vote for this person or not for that person, but you most likely skipped right over them and headed straight to the crossword puzzle or the daily police blotter.
I would suggest that you spend a few minutes reading some of these letters, no matter how painful it may be, so that you at least are familiar with the names once you go to the voting place to randomly pick one.
This isn’t true everywhere in New Hampshire.
In Manchester, for instance, they are having a big deal race for mayor and there is the usual mailers and campaign workers and television ads. It is close to a real election year there.
If you don’t live in Manchester, you may be confused as those television ads can be seen by anybody living anywhere else in the state. This could be confusing to some who aren’t paying attention to these ads. They may expect to go to their own polling place on Election Day to vote for one of these candidates. This could cause them to become confused while in the voting booth, spending too much time searching for one of these names on the ballot.
The poll workers certainly won’t laugh at you in public once you leave the voting booth, but you will know what they are thinking.
Your town or city might have special issues that have to be voted on. Some you may have heard of already and some may be new to you.
This year there has been a lot of buzz about allowing Keno to be played in your town or city and the people will be allowed to vote on whether or not they will allow it. This alone might get a few extra voters to the polls in this off year election. Some might go merely to vote for this and while they are there, get that Keno buzz and fill in some other circles on the card and hope that when all is said and done they chose correctly and win big.
Most likely though, they will watch for the results, like watching the Keno numbers and realize that, in the long run, they will just never win.
I hope this was helpful and that you will prepare yourself for this Election Day even though it is not like the big ones you are used to.
You can now walk proudly into your local voting place, head held high, knowing that you have enough information to make at least a half-informed selection that may have an impact on your city, town and wallet for years to come, along with the other four percent of the folks who show up.

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