The official returns for the Ward 7 recall election have been posted, and 71 percent of registered voters in the ward did not cast a ballot. Claire Syrett was recalled by only 17 percent of eligible voters.
Democracy only works when the electorate is actively engaged. If you abstain from voting, you are relinquishing the decision to a small group of voters. Special elections, like this recall, tend to have low turnout, and that turnout consists mostly of those behind the petition for the election and others whom they have riled up during their petition drive.
In this era of Trumpism and the Jan. 6 Commission that underscores the fragility of democracy, I thought more voters would have taken this election seriously.
I believe a recall should be the tactic of last resort, used only when egregious actions deem an officeholder unfit for office. Instead, we appear to have a group of zealots with an off-with-her-head mindset over one issue, which is a huge, multi-year project on which no major decisions have yet been made.
This whole affair has a bad smell to it, and we lost a good Eugene City Council member.
Eugene, Ward 7