Remember the classic line from the movie "Network"? "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore." Voters throughout the metro-east seemed to be shouting that from the rooftops on Tuesday.
In Belleville the long-dominant Good Government Party took a drubbing; the mayor won re-election but by less than 500 votes. Caseyville Mayor George Chance, in office since 1983, was thrown out. The sitting mayor of Alton was defeated --by a write-in candidate.
Voters in O'Fallon, Smithton and Fairview Heights defeated school tax increases while voters in the Collinsville Area Recreation District rolled back their property taxes.
Unsuccessful Belleville mayoral candidate Phil Elmore said that city voters sent a clear message that they want change.
Actually, the thing that was very clear is that the majority of the people who bothered to vote wanted change. Sadly that was just a fraction of the people who could have voted. In Belleville that was just 24 percent of registered voters. In the Grant School District in Fairview Heights, just 28 percent of its voters decided an important property tax question. In O'Fallon District 90, which had a hotly contested, well-publicized tax increase measure on the ballot, 37 percent of registered voters bothered to cast ballots.
People who are unhappy with the status quo or who are against someone or some thing generally are motivated to go to the polls. Did the vast majority of registered voters who didn't bother get the result they wanted? If not, they have no one to blame but themselves.