As voter registration and other mechanical election procedures have gotten easier, most election experts see only three variables affecting voter turnout: 1) Do the voters believe that the offices up for election matter in their lives? 2) Do the voters believe that a difference exists between the competing candidates and their respective parties? And 3) Do the voters believe that their individual votes matter as to whom will get the office?
Euphoria swept the Fountain Square Ballroom on Election Night '98 once it became obvious we Democrats had a good day. Among the victories, the electorate chose a dynamic, progressive Democrat for county commissioner, Brian O'Neill, and three Democrats for county council. One of the council candidates, Mark Stoops, was even a progressive and an environmental stalwart.
On Election Night '02, however, euphoric was not the condition of Democrats - well, at least not for most. The electorate reselected the progressive and environmental Democratic council incumbent, but removed the progressive Democratic commissioner and rejected three Democratic council candidates.