Morning Report: Why people do not vote

The turnout during primaries and special elections is almost always low. But even high-profile contests can reveal incredible statistics.

In his latest column in Fine City, Jesse Marx dug into the question of why people do not vote.

The barriers to voting are very real – language, attitude and confusion are just a few of them. But a lot of people are just not happy with the political process. They do not see themselves reflected in the government and do not see much improvement in their conditions as elected officials come and go.

Marx analyzed census systems with low voter turnout and found that those communities constituted a home to higher-than-usual poverty rates. Overall, they are also younger, less educated and more dense.

It is easy to criticize those who do not point out that they do not understand what is at stake. However, contrary to the stereotype, people who do not vote or vote selectively do not always disengage. Some of them, in fact, are avid media consumers and they have come to the conclusion that the vote is not worth it. Others will prefer to invest their energy in charities that have an immediate impact on their neighbors.

When low-income people avoid the ballot box, Marx writes, it strengthens the representation of the middle and upper classes in politics.

There are groups in the field that do advocacy work for voters and they have been successful in recent years. But as one organizer explained, local candidates and supportive voters tend to concentrate their efforts on people who consistently vote while ignoring those who do not.

“It widens the gap,” he said.

Click here to read more.

Mexico is rebuilding the floodplain of the Tijuana River

One way to prevent Tijuana’s sewage from crossing the border is to build what amounts to a huge dirt ridge across an opening in the border fence where the Tijuana River crosses the U.S.-Mexico border.

But during the rainy winter months, this barrier is washed away as the river rains – just what happened when the first major rainstorm hit on December 9th. Subsequent rains and mysterious sewage spills resulted in the checkpoint not being rebuilt.

But now it’s back, according to the International Commission on Borders and Water, the bi-national agency that handles some of the sewage-laden water rolling into the U.S. from Tijuana as part of an agreement between the two countries.

Mexico borrows equipment from IBWC to restore the poop-preventing sidewalk. And under the new IBWC agreement that decided three lawsuits, there are requirements that Mexico build a second and IBWC build one on the U.S. side to catch any river pollution left over during the dry summer months.

In other news

  • The average price of gas in the province of San Diego has dropped 15 times in the last 16 days. (San Diego Times)
  • Sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise in the province of San Diego, and experts warn that the trend may continue. (New source)
  • After a slight rise last week, COVID-19 cases in the county returned near a plague low this week, leading public health experts to wonder if we have reached a stable level that will last until the summer. (Union-Tribune)
  • The San Diego City Council committee on Wednesday heard a proposal from council member Monica Montgomery Stepa that would create a black arts and culture area in Ancanto. (KPBS)
  • New York Gov. Kathy Hawkle told Buffalo News that the state government has agreed to subsidize a new stadium for the Buffalo Bills, in part because other gates acted as a concession to move apartment, specifically mentioning San Diego as a city that would be happy to have a team. “If we did not do something soon, they would have other options,” she said. “Buffalo is a very small market, and it’s unusual to have a team at all. There’s a lot more money in places like San Diego.” Not long ago, San Diego had a football team, which during the pursuit of a new stadium subsidized by the city was determined during that period the market did not have enough money to cover personal seat licenses, a tool that teams often use to fund some new stadiums.

This morning report was written by Jesse Marx, Mackenzie Elmer and Andrew Keats. It was edited by Megan Wood.

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