Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Stark Statistics

Robert Horgan was elected by about 4% of the registered voters in Fayette County. Eric Maxwell was elected by around 12% of the registered voters. They are expecting maybe --- maybe --- a 5% turnout for the election on Tuesday. If that holds true then the next Fayette County Commissioner will be elected by 2 to 2.5% of eligible voters. There are somewhere in the neighborhood of 63,000 voters in the county. There are well over 100,000 people.

If instead of looking at the percentage of registered voters you look at the percentage of people who voted, the percentage drop dramatically. I’m not the greatest at math, and truth be told, I’d really rather not know how few people are controlling this county.

It absolutely floors me that people don’t get out and vote. There are a lot of important things in our lives, but if we don’t take care of the basics then our lifestyles begin to crumble.

It’s not like we all have to figure out how to get to the polls on Tuesday, August 8th. It’s a piece of cake to get an absentee ballot and vote in advance. We have an entire extra week before the election to stop in and vote, too. You don’t even have to say you’re going to be out of town anymore to get an absentee ballot. They give you a number of reasons and you check whatever might fit.

Planning to take the kids to Six Flags on Tuesday? Get an absentee ballot.

Going school shopping? Get an absentee ballot.

Going to be on a business trip? Vote this week or get an absentee ballot.

Why is it important to vote on Tuesday? It depends on what your plans are for the future. If you plan to raise your children in this county you might want to go vote. If you like the quality of life you have now and don’t want it to change, you might want to go vote on Tuesday.

Not voting in the last two elections has completely changed the face of government. Maybe you’re happy with the way it turned out. Maybe you’re not. I suppose if things go your way whether you vote or not, then I’ll never convince you to vote. Then again, sooner or later someone you don’t like is going to get in and you’ll have no one to blame but yourself.

Think about it. In the last election the current Commissioner lost by 256 votes. That’s not even a drop in the bucket in this county. I have talked to or am aware of at least half that number who didn’t vote who regret the fact that they didn’t.

What about you? Are you going to sit by the sidelines and let someone else decide whether there is more development, higher density, lower quality homes, increased traffic, higher taxes?

You may be right that your vote doesn’t count for much in the national elections. You may be right that it’s difficult to determine who is right or wrong at the state level. But you have absolutely no excuses at the county and city level. If you don’t know how to meet those who are running for office, send me an email. I’ll introduce you.

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