Turnout for Tuesday’s primary cast shadow of shame on county voters

Published 10:31 am Thursday, August 6, 2015

Warren County voters, you should be ashamed of yourself.

In Tuesday’s election, only 7,355 of you — 27 percent of the county’s 27,123 registered voters — went to the polls and cast ballots in the county’s party primaries. At some precincts, the turnout was pathetic, with less than 30 percent picking up a ballot and choosing candidates.

True, there were a lot of offices where the officials were unopposed, either in the primary or for re-election, but there were other offices, especially state offices, that were heavily contested and deserved consideration, and should have received much more interest than they did Tuesday.

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It’s an interesting phenomenon that people will complain about the state of the government, the ineffectiveness of legislatures and that elected officials no longer care or listen to the people who elected them, and then stay home on election day.

American humorist Will Rogers once said, “No man wants his cause as bad as he talks about it,” and judging from Tuesday’s local elections, and elections nationwide, that statement made about 80 years ago is dead on the money.

It’s not hard to travel Warren County, or any county in the country, and hear people complain about their local government. And when the time comes every four years to do something about it and vote the rascals out, few people have the presence of mind or the courage of their convictions to either find a candidate they can support or go to the polls and cast a vote that will make a genuine change in how their government is run.

Voters in Warren County had their first chance to do that Tuesday night when they could have removed some of the incumbents they’ve railed against during the past four years, but they didn’t do it.

And November is, as some might say, the big event. With a few exceptions, all county officials will have an opponent, and this will be the voters’ chance to put up or shut up and cast their ballots.

If the voters really want change as bad as they talk about it with friends on the street or at work, then they need to go to the polls in droves and cast their ballots. That means more than 27 percent. It means more than 30 percent. It should mean more than 50 percent.

Voters, you have about three months to do your homework, look at and study the candidates and decide who you’re going to vote for. If only 27 percent show up to vote in November, it means 73 percent of the county’s registered voters are either satisfied with the government they have or they don’t care about the government they have. It also means they have no right or reason to complain.