Readers may recall a recent post of mine where I described the heated emotions about the move to add a bike and pedestrian trail in the small town of Del Rey Oaks that I live in that would provide easier access to a small body of water accurately called the Frog Pond. Opponents of the move had put on the ballot an initiative known as Measure B that would have prohibited the trail and the vote was held on June 7th. Since California routinely allows mail-in voting, it takes a long time to get the final results and just this past week the official results were announced and Measure B had been defeated, which means that construction of the trail will proceed.
The result was a squeaker, with 387 ‘Yes’ votes and 399 ‘No’ votes, a narrow margin of 12 votes. Noteworthy was the fact that the total number of people who voted was 799. Since the town has a population of only 1520 with 1216 registered voters, the turn out was 65.7% of registered voters, more than twice the countywide average of 31.1%. This shows the intensity of the feeling that the Frog Pond generated. Leading up the the election, the only people who came to my door to canvass were those on both sides of this issue, not any of the candidates for office. Also, the overwhelming amount of literature that I received was about Measure B.
Of the 799 people who voted, for unknown reasons 13 did not vote on this particular issue, greater than the margin of the result. In big elections, it is is easy to feel that one’s vote does not matter and decide not to bother. It is small town elections that reveal the importance of voting.