Enfranchisement and its dissing is an interesting problem. Consult the Federalist Papers and you will learn that the Founding Fathers were concerned about the "tyranny of the majority" under a pure democracy which might lord it over (or disenfranchise) a minority that nonetheless had the vote. Of course, the minority they were concerned with were the wealthy people who owned the country ("The people who own the country ought to govern it"--Hamilton). Today, we see that they crafted the system very well as 215 years later the wealthy remain firmly in charge.

The situation in Carrboro could be very similar to that feared by the Federalists in terms of the nature of the majority and who it is tyrannizing over.

The problem is endemic to our system and does deny representation to minorities of all sorts, whether ideological, racial etc. Put simply, if there is a majority of voters who are somewhat likeminded and if there are three candidates for alderman who 1) represent that majority perspective, and 2) have clearly communicated to the voters that they do and that others do not, then that majority will elect all seven members. A large minority, even as much as 40-some percent could remain unrepresented.

I agree with those frustrated in Carrboro and also those frustrated with the County Commissioners that this system should be improved. Not so minorities get to rule but so they get a place at the table.

There are many proposals for electoral reform to provide fairer representation. You can read about them at fairvote.org. Former US Rep Cynthia McKinney of GA was an advocate of cumulative voting to improve representation for racial minorities.



Shame on voters. Turn out in Carrboro and Chapel Hill was around 20%. I think it should be a non-partisan issue that this is an outrage. It shows huge disrespect to all the candidates, and the whole process. It seems like more than 20% of the local population wrote a letter to the editor in the past year...but 80% of people where "too busy" or "don't really care" enough.

Congrats to all winners. Shame on the apathy displayed today in such a "politically active" town.

Todd Melet


Todd, I think it's worse than you say - shame on the citizens! With 34K registered, how many are not registered? If less than 7K of those registered bothered to vote does that tell us that the vast majority just don't care?


Community Guidelines

By using this site, you agree to our community guidelines. Inappropriate or disruptive behavior will result in moderation or eviction.


Content license

By contributing to OrangePolitics, you agree to license your contributions under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.

Creative Commons License

Zircon - This is a contributing Drupal Theme
Design by WeebPal.