It is somewhat amazing that a political outsider, such as Whitman, can’t easily and fearlessly answer for a lack of showing up at the polls. Instead, stuck behind the concept that it isn’t ok to skip an election, she called the voting records errors and told reporters to “go find” the proof of her claim.
But not voting is not a crime – in fact, it’s a fairly regular occurrence for many and an honest response could have spoken to those who feel disillusioned with government. “I didn’t vote because I didn’t feel like there was a reason to,” she could have said. “Like many Californians, I felt left behind by politics as usual. Finally I decided, enough is enough – I can’t sit by and let the career politicians hijack the government that’s supposed to represent me.”
And she could go on – the first draft writes itself.
This strategy does have a major flaw: owning up to being a non-voter may help a candidate appeal to a large demographic, but they are precious little help in elections… after all, they don’t vote.