One thing was missing from the April 5 elections: voters. It is clear from Tuesday’s results that the electorate is not engaged in the process.
While Johnson County as a whole did not make it to the polls – numbers showed only 9.7 percent county-wide exercised their right to vote – Gardner boasted a slightly more robust 12 percent.
At 4 p.m. a reporter from The Gardner News checked in with a polling place in town that said they had seen only 60 voters since 7 a.m. that morning.
Gardner wasn’t the only community affected by voter apathy, with low voter turnout numbers state-wide. Lawrence reported 13 percent, Topeka 11 percent and Wichita 12 percent.
While no national offices or state representives were on the ballot, many local offices were.
Those people are the policy makers for our community.
Rarely do we pay attention to the work our city council members do, but it is, indeed important. They make laws and decisions that affect each resident. They decide our taxes, the rates we pay for basic city services, and in what direction our town will go. As your representative, they should lobby for your opinions and work to translate your ideas into policies that govern the city.
School board members make decisions that affect your children. Your child’s education and their future may rest in the hands of these officials.
While our area is not the only one afflicted with apathy, we certainly hope that our electorate sat this one out to regroup – to become interested, invested and energized to vote in the next election.
Our democracy depends on it.