Everyone has a position on taxes, commerce, defense, and on a local level, the school board, zoning ordinances and whether the streetlights are working. We want the potholes to be filled and we are concerned about how many police officers are on patrol and how well equipped the local fire department should be- Yet, in this midterm-primary election 90% of the registered voters didn’t vote.
Last night in Black Hawk County only 8700 people ventured to their polling place, probably a church no more than a few blocks away, to join the collective determination over who should be each party’s candidates to represent them.
The topic that has dominated the national debate over the past 6 years has been about the size of government; its effectiveness (or ineffectiveness), and the reach of government into our daily lives. But when it comes down to determining the representatives who will govern in order to protect or enhance our quality of life, only a fraction of people are motivated enough to take 10 minutes out of their day to exercise the most important aspect of a Constitutional Republic; the voices of citizens.
My dismay does not concern whether people agree with me on which candidates they should choose, but the fact they so many complain about government and so few are interested in the process that can do something about it. If I ever run for office, I would rather see people come out in record numbers to vote against me than to win because only a fraction of the population even cared (don’t hold me to that, but you get my point…right?).
We’ll see what happens in November when the vote count will be higher, but historically with 213 million Americans qualified to vote only half of them actually do. That’s a lot better than the local percentage but it still leaves me to wonder…who is in charge of a Republic of, for, and by the people, if the people themselves choose not to be?