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What Does It Take?

3 Nov, 2004 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Motivated by a perceived attack on morality (11 states voted on anti-gay marriage amendments), the war in Iraq, terrorism, health care, jobs and the usual partisan suspects, about 120 million people reportedly voted in Tuesday's presidential election — the most since 1968.

That number represents less than 60 percent of the country's eligible voters, raising the question just what it would take to get the remaining electorate to the polls. And should they really remain citizens, let alone eligible?

To be fair, being an American allows one the independent right not to vote, burn the flag and be indifferent, if not ignorant.

But then why register in the first place?

Perhaps that nonplussed group was home watching a movie rental — not wishing to let arguably the most important political referendum in their lifetime interfere with a closer-to-home battle to stay abreast of a three-movie-at-a-time monthly subscription cycle.

There was even a nonsensical mention in a trade publication of Election Day's impact on home entertainment and the industry's contradictory response.

“We're getting out of the way of the elections,” said one studio spokesperson while a competitor bowed two releases.

Whatever the motivation, or lack thereof, non-participation Tuesday indicated indifference far more damaging than the extremism posed by social liberals and the religious faithful.

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