With ballots due next Tuesday, many Mercer Island citizens are eager to cast their votes in this year’s election. A recent survey indicates, however, that this year’s unusually high levels of voter turnout are driven by citizens’ desire to vote against specific city council candidates.
According to the survey, prepared exclusively for The Distorter by local analytics firm Fudge Factor Associates, 84% of likely Island voters are casting their ballots for city council candidates based on their desire to see the candidates’ opponents lose.
“Our polling indicates that Islanders’ contempt for their neighbors who run for city council is exceeded only by their contempt for the people who oppose them,” said May Dupp, CEO of Fudge Factor, “and that Island citizens will overwhelmingly vote for candidates based on who they don’t want to see on the city council.”
“I originally planned to vote for the candidates who would do the best job leading the city into the future,” said Islander P. Elise St. Fu, “but once the unsolicited emails about the election started flooding my inbox, I decided it was more important to vote against the candidates whose supporters are the scariest.”
The “anti-candidate” voters cite a variety of reasons for their decision. For example, 35% of them vote against candidates who send the most junk mail to their houses, 44% vote against candidates based on the letters and advertisements published in The Mercer Island Reporter, and 57% vote against candidates based on who supports them on social media. [Editor’s note: The numbers add up to more than 84% because the respondents were allowed to select multiple answers.]
Conversely, only 11% of likely voters reported that they are voting for a city council candidate based on something they heard that candidate say at one of the candidate’s public appearances.
Local citizens also cited other reasons for their decisions, such as Island resident Antony M., who requested his last name not be used to protect his identity: “I always vote against the candidates with the most yard signs.”
Dupp cautioned against reading too much into the survey results: “Islanders’ strong distaste for interacting with strangers makes it difficult to get reliable results in our polling. Also, it’s essential to remember that 78.2% of statistics cited online are invented on the spot to support the point the author is trying to make.”
Not all of the results from this poll are negative: 95% of likely Island voters are happy that they don’t have to vote for any of this year’s Seattle City Council candidates.
In related news, the Mercer Island School District has banned students from dressing up for Halloween as sign-waving candidates, saying that the sight of the costumes “would be too traumatizing for young children and their parents.”