U.S. Ambassador praises voter turnout in midterm polls
The U.S. Ambassador to Samoa, Scott Brown, said the mid-term elections this week have demonstrated that democracy works.
November 7th marked a highly anticipated election day in the United States which resulted in the Democratic party taking control of the House of Representatives, and the Republicans maintaining a majority in the Senate.
The New York Times reports the incomplete results show the US is deeply divided along political lines.
But for Ambassador Brown, a high election turnout should be celebrated.
“The thing I was most encouraged by is the fact that it was one of the largest, if not the largest turnout ever in our midterm elections.
“I was very excited; it showed me that democracy works and that people are part of the process and the solution,” he said.
Approximately 114 million votes were cast in U.S. House races this year, compared to 83 million in 2014, according to estimates by the New York Times.
The Associated Press reports Michigan alone saw the highest voting turnout since 1962.
Voting numbers have been widely reported as more than meets the eye, however.
The Boston Globe’s Renée Graham reports how in Georgia, the secretary of state Brian Kemp was also the Republican candidate, and “used every cheap, dirty, and probably illegal trick in the book to rig his tight contest against Democrat Stacey Abrams.”
Long waiting times, insufficient voting machines and even untrained staff also caused low voting numbers in some areas, reported by the Washington Post as “improperly challenging Americans’ right to vote.
“As folks may or may not know, democracy is messy, our politics is a blood sport,” said Mr Brown.
“You had some winners, you had some losers.”
Mr Brown said a divided house and senate is nothing new and even somewhat expected.
“What I believe will happen is it will force the branches of government to get together, and do some compromising and work together.
“I’m really excited to see what happens over the next couple of years, and I think it’s a great opportunity for not only the political process but for the American people.”
Ambassador Brown also pointed out the results do not affect his position or work at all.