LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- More than 33,000 people voted on the last day of early voting Monday, and more than 439,000 voters turned out for early voting total. Pretty impressive.
The lines stretched for blocks, and people were in line a lot longer than they expected to be-an image that has to make you feel good about the strength of our democracy, and certainly better than the situation over seas.
Iraq is war-torn and still violent, and the political situation is still shaky. While we wish the country's citizens the best, we know it's not the best environment for parliamentary elections, which in 2012 turned out to be paltry.
According to the Washington Post, their turnout was 62.8 percent, which isn't bad for a poor fledgling democracy like Iraq, but compare those numbers to the midterm congresisonal elections in Arkansas in 2010-47.6 percent.
That's right. Baghdad, Iraq had a 62.8 percent turnout versus Arkansas' mere 47.6. Those numbers don't really look good, do they?
So, I have one question to ask: Which country has the more active democracy?
This calls for a "Get Out the Vote" pep talk from me. Go get 'em, Arkansas! Let's set a record!
But, before any locker room speech breaks out, I want to know if we also have the right not to vote. On Facebook, we asked our viewers if anyone out there was exercising thier right not to vote.
"In my personal opinion, when there is a 'real' candidate that is actually worth voting for, then I will vote," said a man named Jerry.
Another woman agreed with him, saying she doesn't like her choices, and she would not be voting due to not liking either.
But, THV 11 Facebooker Chris Carter was a little more direct.
"If you are going to vote for the lesser of two evils, you're still voting for evil," he said.
The response on our Facebook page was pretty strong, but we will never be able to count the non-voters who are excercising their rights. This fact proves that our democracy is vibrant and strong. Cynicism doesn't register in the numbers. We only have percentages of people who did vote and let their voices be heard.
So, tomorrow, let's beat Baghdad.
Hey, Mark Edwards, how is that for a little locker room speech?