I voted yesterday in the city council special election. Why? I have no idea. I guess it's because as a registered independent, I don't really get to vote for mayor. (For those of you who don't live in DC, this city swings 90-plus percent democratic, so the mayor is always decided in the Democratic primary, in which I'm not allowed to vote.) Of course, though, just as I feared would happen, my and Washington City Paper's choice didn't win. Instead, in true DC fashion, we got a guy who used to be on the Council, quit to take a job with one of the region's most controversial companies, Pepco, then decided to come back because, well, who knows. Is it the fame, the glory, the prospect of being the second most powerful Vincent in DC? (Our mayor is Vincent Gray.) Maybe. That sounds status quo enough to be true, and if there's any words to describe Orange's run, "status" and "quo" definitely come to mind.
What's even more disappointing, though, is realizing how Orange won. He won with just 28 percent of the vote, meaning of the roughly 43,000 votes cast (which by the way, equals a whopping 9.5 percent of residents, says the Washington Post), he won with just over 12,000 supporters. Now, to put this shockingly low number into perspective, consider this: DC's population hovers around 600,000 -- 12,000 equates to just 2 percent of that. And yes, you read that correctly: TWO PERCENT of this city just managed to elect this guy.
Not that it seems like such a big deal, I guess, considering the overall dismal voter turnout, but now consider this: the second through fifth place candidates of the total field of nine, garnered a combined 66.1 percent of the total vote (26 percent for the sole Republican candidate, Patrick Mara, 20 percent for Sekou Biddle, 13 percent for my pick, Bryan Weaver, and 7.1 percent for Josh Lopez). In other words -- and numbers -- that's approximately 28,423 combined votes for candidates other than Orange. That means at least 4.7 percent of this city's residents oppose Orange, which is over twice as many as those who support him!
Honestly, if over 90 percent of Washingtonians didn't give a sh*t, I think this city would be outraged right now because how is this in any way just? Even in Russia, candidates must win with a real majority (over 50 percent), meaning in a case like the above, there'd be a runoff election between the top two or three candidates. And judging from the numbers, I'm guessing Orange probably wouldn't be as victorious under a fairer system, where a true majority would be needed to win. I, for one, know if I got to vote again and the choices were narrowed down to just Orange, Mara and Biddle, Orange would still not be my first pick. Nor, I bet would he probably be the pick for most of the other voters, most of whom didn't vote for Orange in the first place.
Whatever. I'm just going to start writing in Sexy Saxman Saxagram from now on. All he does is win.