05/26/06 — 63 million — ‘American Idol’ voting sad comparison to election turnout

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63 million — ‘American Idol’ voting sad comparison to election turnout

It is hard to believe that more than 63 million people cared enough about the outcome of the Fox Network’s show “American Idol” to make sure they got their votes in Tuesday night.

Nothing against the show itself, but compare those results to the dismal turnout for the last presidential election — and that number was considered one of the better ones — and you can see that there is reason to wonder about the priorities of the American public.

Many of those who cast their votes were probably teens or younger who would not be able to vote anyway, but there is some reason for pause as we get ready for a key election this November and another presidential race in 2008.

How exactly do we get Americans to care as much about casting their votes for their leaders as they do about having a voice in determining the next pop superstar?

The question probably requires more than a little thought about how elections are run and how to keep campaigns and issues accessible for all people who are eligible to cast their ballots. And then there is the fact that lately, there hasn’t been much for the American voter to get excited about. The candidates and the issues in some cases have been less than inspiring.

But this week’s “American Idol” record should point sharply to the fact that we have to do something.

Just think how much more relevant candidates and decisions they make would be if they really were elected by a majority of their peers.

Published in Editorials on May 26, 2006 11:02 AM