To the editor:
This past Tuesday, residents of Lawrence were given an opportunity to let their voice be heard in the most democratic way possible: an election. I am proud to live in a city that cares enough about affording individuals an adequate and equal opportunity to vote that I not only had the opportunity to vote on Tuesday, but out of fear of inclement weather or perhaps simply personal convenience, I could vote in advance of the “official” election. In fact, though I cast my vote on Sunday, advance voting began Feb. 6, giving any registered Lawrence voter 20 days in which to complete a process that takes little more than a moment of time.
Imagine my surprise, embarrassment and shame for this community when I opened my newspaper Wednesday morning to read that voter turnout was 8.6 percent. Indeed, more than 90 percent of our community’s voters simply couldn’t put forth the effort to cast a simple ballot. Imagine my surprise, embarrassment and shame for this community when I read that in a community of 88,000 residents, that the top vote-getter had received less than 3,000 total votes.
All around this community I hear people speaking in fearful tones of decisions made by their government both regionally and nationally that serve to limit or flat out remove their individual liberties. But why shouldn’t they remove them, when so few of us make any use of the liberties we possess?