The big winner in last week’s election? Apathy. Or was it cynicism? Or maybe, “Meh, I’d rather watch TV/cat videos/porn,” with “Oh shit, that was last week?” running a close second. At any rate, voter turnout nationwide was a pathetic 36.3 percent, the worst in 72 years. And Humboldt County didn’t do much, if any, better.

Let’s crunch some numbers.

If you look at the Election Night Final Report posted on the Humboldt County website you’ll see that 29,711 of 76,064 voters voted, for a total of 39.06 percent, but that figure’s misleading. For one thing, it doesn’t include the 8,801 ballots that the Secretary of State’s office says have yet to be counted. It also doesn’t factor in the thousands of people who are eligible to vote but, for whatever reason, haven’t even registered.

Regardless, that 39.06 percent figure is the lowest turnout in Humboldt County for a federal (even-numbered years) election in at least a dozen years — probably a lot longer. (The county website only archives results back to 2002.)

But let’s dig a bit deeper.

Humboldt County’s population last year (since this year’s data aren’t yet available) was 134,493, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Of those, 108,267 were over the legal voting age of 18. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re eligible to vote, though. Statewide, for example, only 82.33 percent of the voting-age population is eligible to vote, since you have to subtract non-citizens, convicted felons and prisoners.

That percentage — 82.33 — is the lowest in the country, mostly due to to California’s nation-leading percentage of non citizens. At 16.9 percent California has more than double the national rate of 8.3 percent non-citizens.

Humboldt County, by comparison, has a comparatively tiny non-citizen rate of 2.9 percent — lower than the likes of such homogeneous states as New Hampshire, Delaware and Idaho. So we’ll subtract that 2.9 percent, or 3,140 residents, from the county’s voting-age population, leaving us with 105,127 potential voters.

That leaves the felon/prisoner factor, which is less impactful. Just 0.75 percent of California’s voting-age population falls into that category (though that’s still a very high number compared to the rest of the world). If we use that same percentage for Humboldt County (which we’re gonna do for lack of a better option), it knocks out another 813 people, leaving us with a voting-eligible population of 104,314.

So! Where does that leave us? The 38,512 people who voted last Tuesday represent more than half of the county’s registered voters but only 36.92 percent of the voting-eligible population. Barely one in three. That’s above the shameful statewide turnout rate of 31.8 percent and just barely above the also-shameful national turnout rate of 36.3 percent.

As the New York Times points out, there’s ample reason to be disenchanted with national politics. But Humboldt County accomplished these ignominious results despite some rather interesting/important measures on the ballots, including a countywide ban on GMO cultivation (which passed) and a minimum-wage hike in the county seat (which did not).

And the race for Eureka’s Third Ward city council seat is a real nail-biter, with just 104 votes currently separating incumbent Mike Newman from challenger Kim Bergel — and that number is likely to shrink as the outstanding ballots are tallied.

We at the Outpost considered reaching out to a talking head of the political science persuasion in the hopes that he or she would learnedly theorize on the reasons for this mass voter absenteeism, but then we remembered that we could ask our readers directly.

If you are among the roughly 63 percent of resident adult Humboldtians who did not vote last week, will you tell us why not, as specifically and honestly as possible? We’re looking for something beyond, “The system is rigged, man!” And don’t hold back: Our commenting interface is more anonymous than a Diebold voting machine.