What If They Held a Referendum And Nobody Came?

Last month voters in Black Hawk County, Iowa went to the polls to choose whether to extend a local sales tax. When no one in the town of Jesup voted — either for or against it — officials wondered whether that meant it passed or failed. The Iowa Secretary of State’s Office decided it failed, since “Unless there are more votes for ‘yes’ than ‘no’, it doesn’t pass.” It turns out it doesn’t matter anyway since the town wouldn’t have seen a penny of the sales tax even had it passed. It seems part of the town is in Black Hawk County and part is in Buchanan. Since the distribution is based on the 20000 census — when no one lived in the Black Hawk part — they wouldn’t have seen any money had the 27 people who live there bothered to vote. It just proves that not voting for voter apathy is the same as voting for it.

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