Certainly a real nothing of an election here in my part of Texas. Only 13 marks to make on the ballot! Ten incredibly obscure Texas Constitutional Amendments to approve, two at-large seats on the San Antonio River Authority, and a local school district bond measure.
Which meant, in practice, one thing that ordinary people might have some clue about, and 12 guesses. For example, the River Authority. Now, first of all, I doubt that 5% of eligible voters could tell you what a River Authority is, or even take a reasonable guess. Second...well, there was no campaign that I noticed. Maybe some candidate yard signs or street signs? Can't say I noticed them, but I can be oblivious about stuff like that. There was one article in the local paper, which I recall reading a week or so ago (or three weeks? I know there was an article), and I recall deciding who to vote for at that time. But I thought I had saved the paper, and didn't...hmmm, thanks for the modern world: off to google. Alas, that didn't really work very well, although eventually I did manage to figure out who the incumbents were on the ballot, which was what I was looking for at this point, so I was OK after that. In which "OK" means that I successfully figured out who I intended to vote for after reading one article in one newspaper. I have zero way of knowing whether I correctly interpreted the cues in the article, or for that matter whether the quotations in the article were accurate reflections of what the candidates wanted me to know about themselves.
Yes, this is an insane way to organize elections. Again: as long as we get partisan cues, we're all capable of casting reasonably informed votes, based only on party affiliation. But for non-partisan contests (especially for obscure offices) and ballot measures, it's extremely difficult for voters to have any clue about what they're doing. Which surely must have something to do with why local turnout today is expected to be under 5%. Despite the fact that at least the school board bond measure is, one could argue, reasonably important, and certainly is very easy to understand (since they have to detail exactly what they plan to do with the money).
Anyway, 13 votes cast today, the second local Election Day we've had since the midterm elections last year. That makes 15 votes cast so far over the two-year election cycle, after 115 votes cast on five different local Election Days in 2010. I'm not aware of any remaining election in 2011, but of course we'll have plenty in 2012.
Actual biggest complaint: we don't get those "I voted" stickers. We have early voting around here, and I've seen people walk around with the stickers for voting early, but they don't seem to hand them out on Election Day, at least not at my local polling place (which is, by the way, our local elementary school).
Oh, and if my earlier post didn't make you sufficiently patriotic, enjoy Matt Glassman's voting story he posted this morning. I love voting stories! Hey, here's a bunch, from last year.