FAIL. After Riots & Looting Only 19% of Michael Brown’s District Turns Out to Vote

Ferguson, Missouri held its first city election last week since the death of Michael Brown and the ensuing riots.
looters ferguson

Hands up!
Despite all of the media attention and international press, only 19{c18972fae7bad54fccba2a5109f73c6e4ffe73508739d7249e14c4c49d351322} of eligible voters from Brown’s district turned out to vote.
USA Today reported:

This week, Ferguson took a big step forward. With the city’s first municipal election since Brown’s death, the city tripled the number of black members of its city council. For the first time in Ferguson history, half of the council members will be black.

About 30{c18972fae7bad54fccba2a5109f73c6e4ffe73508739d7249e14c4c49d351322} of voters cast ballots, more than double the participation in the last two elections in Ferguson. Many of the voters who showed up on Tuesday braved rain to cast their ballots in what activists have hailed as a historic election.

But a closer consideration of the numbers should leave us depressed about the seeming lack of interest of our fellow Americans in participatory democracy.

In the Ward 3 race, which includes the area Brown was from and where many business were destroyed and looted in the unrest, only 19{c18972fae7bad54fccba2a5109f73c6e4ffe73508739d7249e14c4c49d351322} of voters cast ballots. To be certain, participation was up dramatically in Brown’s home ward. In 2012, the last time there was a contested election in the ward, only 6 {c18972fae7bad54fccba2a5109f73c6e4ffe73508739d7249e14c4c49d351322} – just 168 voters – bothered to cast ballots.

But after what Ferguson went through over the last eight months, an election in which less than a third participated seems like a hollow victory for democracy.

In a city that is 67{c18972fae7bad54fccba2a5109f73c6e4ffe73508739d7249e14c4c49d351322} African American, only three of six city council seats are now African American.

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