I live in a college town and while there are many politically and socially engaged students here, there are many more that have tuned out.
Just last night at a discussion following a video about 9/11 First Responders, one fellow said that he thought that it would take a major catastrophe with 50,000 casualties to occur before our country would rise up in protest.
There is a pervasive sense of hopelessness that overwhelms many, many people in America these days.
I believe part of that sentiment is a reflection of the distrust that has come about because of the various controversies regarding the last two elections. If there is a possibility that our votes will be lost or invalidated, then one would be less apt to feel motivated to vote. Does that makes sense?
The power of the Secretary of State to influence elections is something most of the public is oblivious to. Recent voter outrage in Ohio has caused state officials to delay the destruction of 2004 ballots -- a sign that people are getting wise to Blackwell's dark deeds and at the same time, making the importance and power of the Secretary's office known.
Electing honest, transparent and highly ethical candidates to the office of the Secretary of State is in my opinion a big part of the remedy to a great deal of voter apathy and cynicism. Electing John Bonifaz to office in Massachusetts would go a long way toward sending a clear message to government that we voters demand to be counted. Efforts to rebuild that trust in our election system would receive a tremendous boost because of his reputation as a defender of clean elections law, in tangible as well as in emotional terms. That is what I think will begin to turn apathy around and get people and especially students to tune back in.