Archive for Saturday, March 3, 2007

Speak for yourself

Voters who don’t go to the polls are ceding their civic power to voters who do.

March 3, 2007


How low will we go? In Tuesday's editorial, we decried the 16 percent voter turnout in the 2004 primary election for Lawrence City Commission and urged local voters to do better.

Little did we know that Tuesday's turnout would be even lower, a dismal 14 percent.

As Tuesday's editorial pointed out, local elections to pick city commissioners and school board members may be the most important elections because they have such a large impact on our day-to-day lives. Unfortunately, Lawrence voters didn't take that message to heart.

A writer to the Journal-World's Public Forum makes an interesting point about the advantages of voter apathy. He figured that with a turnout of just 15 percent, his vote actually would speak for six other potential voters who didn't go to the polls. The fewer voters who go to the polls, he surmised, the more power his vote would have.

Now there's a sobering thought.

Fortunately, you all have another chance. Maybe the primary election sneaked up on you a bit. Maybe you didn't vote because you hadn't taken time to educate yourself on the candidates. You now have four weeks to remedy that situation before going to the polls on April 5 to elect three city commissioners and four school board members.

There will be many opportunities through news stories, campaign materials and public forums to learn more about the candidates for these important offices in the weeks to come. If it's inconvenient for you to go to the polls on April 5 you can vote in advance at the Douglas County Courthouse or request an advance ballot by mail.

It's an important responsibility not only to vote but to cast an intelligent vote based on what you've learned about the candidates on the ballot and what they stand for.

Don't let some other voter speak for you on Election Day.


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