Did high rates of ACEs and CPTSD cause a difference in visual attention that resulted in a voting anomaly in Broward County, FL?
According to an article written for the Washington Post by Dana Chisnell and Whitney Quesenbery, co-founders of the Center for Civic Design, "In Broward County, according to MCI Maps, about 3.7 percent (30,896) of voters skipped voting for U.S. senator — as much as 2.5 percent more than in most other counties, and a lot more than neighboring counties. In fact, more people in Broward County voted for the commissioner of agriculture and county CFO than for their U.S. senator.”
The article points out: "In observing hundreds of people mark ballots in our research, we know that voters often skip reading instructions. This year’s long wait times to get a ballot surely made many people rush to mark their votes even faster than usual; the design of this ballot did not help voters see where the instructions ended and the contests started. It’s likely that many voters simply did not see the box to mark for senator.”
But perhaps there’s a confounding reason. Because our community suffers, as do many, from having a large number of persons with high ACE scores, historical trauma, and complex PTSD, perhaps this also changes how they process visual and other information. Is this possible to prove? Would either one of these two approaches get at the answer?
1. Gather two groups, one having high ACE scores and one not, then have them fill out the ballots.
2. Compare the ACE scores of people in Broward who skipped the Senate vote with those that didn’t.
Or is there another way? Let me know what you think.
- Thank you Jane Stevens for your sage advice and help in rewriting and for all you've done in bringing awareness of ACE's.
Golden Rule Schools