After we noticed that the latest election data was available via the Ohio Secretary of State's website, we looked back on the electoral trends of 2023; one thing became abundantly clear: there is an urgent need to boost voter turnout, especially as we approach the critical 2024 elections. Despite the presence of pivotal issues like reproductive rights and adult recreational cannabis legalization on ballots, voter participation was lower than anticipated in 2023. Although as a whole, these issues passed with majority support, this observation is particularly concerning for our local Democratic party. The 2024 election cycle presents a unique opportunity for us to re-energize and mobilize voters.
Analyzing the 2023 Voter Turnout
The 2023 elections, despite being pivotal in determining policies on key progressive issues, saw a downturn in voter participation (in Democrats and Republicans alike). In precincts such as Portsmouth 3-C, where the majority supported progressive stances on both abortion and cannabis, voter turnout was lower than expected. This trend was not an anomaly but rather a broader indication of a need for increased voter engagement, particularly on issues central to the Democratic platform.
The 2024 Elections: A Democratic Call to Action
The upcoming 2024 elections, especially the presidential race, are crucial for the Democratic Party. The lessons from the 2023 turnout will require a new strategy for engagement. It's time for Democrats, alongside civic organizations and activists, to lead the charge in dismantling barriers to voting and sparking a renewed interest in the democratic process.
Strategies for Higher Turnout
Targeted Awareness Campaigns: We will spearhead campaigns that emphasize the significance of voting, highlighting how policy decisions directly impact citizens' lives. There was a lot of misinformation and deliberate confusion being presented online, on the radio, and in other ad formats; we will work harder this year to make sure the truth has equal footing.
Enhancing Voting Access: Championing initiatives for easier voting access, such as advocating for early voting, mail-in ballots, and accessible polling locations, aligns with the Democratic ethos of inclusivity and fairness in the electoral process. We're committed to stepping up our efforts getting people registered to vote, distributing absentee ballot request forms, and finding ways for people to get to their polling location.
Educating on Progressive Issues: Clear, concise communication about key issues on the ballot can help voters understand the stakes and the Democratic stance, fostering informed decision-making. In 2024, we will have a few Q&A sessions on our social media platforms to help voters make informed decisions.
Addressing Voter Fatigue: In the era of constant political bombardment, we must find innovative ways to engage voters without overwhelming them, ensuring sustained enthusiasm for the democratic process. We will continue producing a quarterly newsletter, so you only have to think about politics four times a year. We get it, at times it feels like we're doom-scrolling through our newsfeeds.
Engaging Young Voters: Young voters are crucial for the future of the Democratic Party. Engaging this demographic through education and targeted outreach is essential to foster a new generation of Democratic voters. We're excited to partner with the Shawnee State University Democratic Club by inviting them to our Central Committee meetings and sponsoring them to attend our annual banquet.
Embracing Our Democratic Duty
The heart of democracy is participation. As we move toward 2024, it's critical for Democrats to reflect on past election cycles and take decisive action to ensure that every voice is heard. The Scioto County Democratic Party has a unique opportunity to lead this effort, championing the values of inclusivity and representation. The time to act is now, ensuring that democracy is not just a concept, but a living, breathing reality for all. Voting is the bare minimum thing you can do to support a healthy democracy; we'll have plenty of volunteer opportunities this year, follow us here and on our social media to learn how you can help.
Wondering how to do your own analysis of election data?
You can get election data from the Ohio Secretary of State's website https://www6.ohiosos.gov/ords/f?p=VOTERFTP:HOME::::::
For whom and what you vote for are secret information; When you vote is public.