By Perry Busby
Old habits are hard to break is the aphorism that came to mind when I saw voter turnout in Broward County had not yet reached 20%, with four hours to go before polls closed.
Despite heroic GOTV efforts from community organizations, party clubs, and candidates and their campaigns, voters appear to have returned to their former voting habits—when Donald Trump wasn’t on the ballot, and the County death toll wasn’t setting daily records caused by an uncontrollable pandemic and an arrogant incompetent leader.
Yes, you read that correctly. Dating back as far as 2004, voter turnout in Broward County during Primary Elections has never reached 20%, including the years when former president Barack Obama’s campaign set records mobilizing voters nationally.
The 2018 Primary Election, which is remembered for the record turnout of African American women, and was key to changing the political landscape nationally and locally. It is also the year voter turnout eclipsed 20% for the first time, with over 271K ballots cast during the election.
Turnout grew even more in 2020, when the State and counties established additional guidelines to comply with CDC COVID-19 requirements, leading to over 317K ballots cast, or 25.9%, the largest in Broward history.
Some might argue, and rightfully so in my opinion, that the dynamics of 2018 and 2020 still exists. Instead of Trump, we’re confronting a candidate of the same ilk in DeSantis, and coronavirus and monkey pox cases are still high. So, why the lack involvement?