Saturday, January 16, 2010

Cardella's Spotty Voting Record

Cardella's voting inconsistent--in frequency and geography

The Gazette's Greg Hennigan posts the candidate's voting histories and notes a gap: "Supervisor candidate Lori Cardella did not vote in Johnson County between November 2000 and June 2008."

This story has been played in other local elections in recent years; I remember it being especially hot in a 2003 Coralville city election when most of a challenger slate had skipped local elections. Few candidates, few people for that matter, get a gold star for perfect attendance at the polls. But missing something as big as the then-record turnout 2004 presidential election is unusual.

Janelle Rettig fesses up to missing a school election weeks after she moved to town in 1990, and maybe one other uncontested election, but says she's voted 69 times in 19 years in Johnson County. Jim Knapp has missed a few more than than that, but has a fairly solid record of diligence.

As Iowa City residents Rettig and Knapp get two more chances to vote every two years, in city elections and the Iowa City primary, than rural resident Cardella. Still, by my count Lori's had at least 40 chances to vote in 17 years, and only made 10.

In a letter to the Press-Citizen, CJ Voci and Jae-Jae Spoon have one way to explain it:
Florida license plates, though, are only part of Cardella's troubled story. Cardella registered to vote in Broward County, Florida, in February 2004. On three occasions since then, Cardella cast ballots in Broward County. She voted by absentee ballot in the November 2004 general election and she voted at the polls in the 2006 general election. She again voted at the polls in the 2008 primary election.

Hennigan also called Broward County--yes, the home of the original hanging chad--to fact-check, but didn't get a call back before his deadline.

(For the record, the only election I've missed is the 1992 school board: uncontested with a record low one percent turnout. I'm still mad at myself for not making it; I was a campaign staffer in full presidential gonzo mode working a county away and I just plain forgot.)

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