Some good reasons to vote, or maybe not

"A low voter turnout is a result of fewer people going to the polls." - Dan Quayle

You could always count on Danny Q. to hit the nail on the head, which often made us wonder how many times he hit himself on the head.

So with our former veep in mind, here are some political ponderings:

- "Send a Vet To D.C." That ought to be John Ensign's battle cry. With so many jackasses in Congress, we need a veterinarian (that's what Ensign does by trade) to provide the quality medical care they deserve. Especially considering there isn't a single proctologist in Congress. The alternative is another lawyer like Edward M. Bernstein. I can see it now: An ambulance drives past the Senate Chambers and Edward M. is out the door like a rocket yelling "whiplash!" at the top of his lungs.

- Carson City Clerk Alan Glover was feeling better late last week and upped his voter turnout prediction for the September primary from 30 percent to 40 percent. At last count there were 25,205 registered voters in Carson City and Glover's office is guessing around 11,000 of them will vote in the primary. The turnout in 1996 was 44 percent and in 1998 it dropped to 38.8 percent. That means you can be mayor by convincing 15 percent of Carson City's 40,000 or so eligible voters that you'll give them a bypass, a Costco and two cars in every garage.

- Notice I said "eligible voters." There are somewhere in the neighborhood of 15,000 Carson City residents who are eligible (18 or older) to vote, but haven't bothered to register. That means 27.5 percent of those "eligible" to vote will do so in the September primary.

- Someone suggested that unless the voter turnout is more than 50 percent, nobody wins. We simply do without office holders until more people decide the candidates are worth getting up from the couch and going to the polls for. Until then we let paid staff handle all decisions.

- There is actually a "Nobody For President" party and it's gaining momentum.

- "Republicans understand the importance of bondage between a mother and child." - Dan Quayle, 1998.

- The school bond is about propping up our school buildings. The teacher tax initiative is about propping up our teacher's union. Don't confuse the two.

- Soon, the campaign signs will outnumber voters.

- I don't know about you, but I always vote for the candidate with the best signs.

- Not really. I'd rather drive past a liposuction billboard.

- "I love California. I practically grew up in Phoenix." - Dan Quayle.

- Then there's the story of 79-year-old dairy farmer Fred Tuttle from Vermont, who decided to run for the U.S. Senate because, "It's the only job you can get with a 10th-grade education and no references." Fred says after spending most of his life in a barn it would be great to spend some time in the House.

- Also overheard someone ask the political question of the year: "Who would you rather have running health care? Unfeeling, unresponsive government bureaucrats, or unfeeling, unresponsive private bureaucrats?"

- "People that are really very weird can get into sensitive positions and have a tremendous impact on history." - Dan Quayle.

- There was a time in Nevada when it was illegal to sell alcohol on election day. That law was repealed in 1967 and Nixon was elected a year later. Purely coincidental, I'm sure.

- People currently prohibited by law from voting in Nevada: 1) Non-U.S. citizens; 2) People who have lived in Nevada less than six months; 3) Traitors; 4) Felons; 5) Idiots; 6) Insane people.

- Obviously, the election police have been remiss in their enforcement of the "idiot" prohibition.

- There was also a time in Nevada when you had to pay a $4 "poll tax" in order to vote. If someone was too poor to pay, he could always find a candidate willing to pick up the tab.

- Up until 1978 you were prohibited from voting in Nevada if you had ever engaged in a duel. "Geeze, Fred. We had seven Democrats in this county and you had to go and shoot three of them."

- "The future will be better tomorrow." - Dan Quayle.

Jeff Ackerman is publisher and editor of the Nevada Appeal.


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