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Archive for Thursday, August 15, 2002

Voting counts

August 15, 2002

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To the editor:

I am writing in response to the letter titled "Shameful Turnout" that appeared Saturday.

Like the writer of the letter, I was appalled by the apparent lack of turnout for the primary election. I work 12-hour night shifts as a nurse in Kansas City, and I intentionally took time out of my day to make sure I voted. I consider it an honor and a right to do so. Consequently, I was shocked that only 20 percent of registered voters turned out that day.

However, I did feel a little better when I thought about it later and realized that the turnout number is a little misleading in a primary election such as this one. My boyfriend has the same strong feelings about his right to vote as do I, but he could not vote. I intentionally registered with a specific party to be able to vote in the primary election, but many others, such as my boyfriend, are registered, but not with a specific party. Since there were no general issues on the ballot in this election, just primary races, no one who was not registered to a specific party could vote. I do not know what percentage of registered voters fall into that category, but I assume it is significant. Since the percentage they reported is based on the number of registered voters, not on the number of registered voters qualified to vote in a party primary, I believe the percentage who voted was artificially low.

I will reserve my final judgment on this issue until the general election later this year. At that time, if there is still a large percentage of people who choose not to exercise their one chance to make their voices heard, I will just have to assume they believe they can trust my judgment more than their own. At least that makes my vote count!

Susan Glantz,

Lawrence

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