OUR VIEW: Why is voter turnout so low?

Published 9:30 am Saturday, October 16, 2021

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It’s hard to believe, but it happens just about every election season. Regardless of how many stories are written or no matter how many candidate signs are placed all over Troup County, there are people who do not realize an election is taking place.

Typically, elections fly under the limelight where there isn’t a ton of national coverage, and that’s the case for the local elections taking place now.

The names of Joe Biden and Donald Trump aren’t on the ballot, so unfortunately, that means less people care. That’s very unfortunate, considering the men and women elected in November will be city council members, mayors and commissioners who will make important decisions that impact our daily lives.

Yes, it’s true that the president makes important decisions that impact our entire country. No doubt about it. But Joe Biden isn’t deciding how Troup County should spend taxpayer money. He’s not deciding whether money in the budget should be spent to support a local program or if a speed bump might be needed on a city or county road.

The people elected in this upcoming election will make those decisions. So yes, it’s true that CNN and Fox News aren’t talking ad nauseam about these elections (and probably never will), but that doesn’t mean they aren’t important.

And, unfortunately, many people have not voted yet. It’s true that early voting only started Tuesday due to the holiday, but only 191 people had voted as of Thursday afternoon. Early voting exists so that everyone has a chance to get to the ballot box and isn’t rushing on Election Day, and so few have taken advantage. Another hundred or so people have requested absentee ballots.

It’s also true that some people do not have any competitive races on their ballot, as many seats are unopposed this time around. That’s also helping keep voter turnout down.

However, many people live in areas where there are competitive races, and this election cycle is too important to sit out. Don’t sit on the sidelines and let someone cast your vote for you.

A new commissioner, new council members and a new Hogansville mayor will be elected, regardless of whether you vote or not, but it’s your right as an American to have a say in who the person is that represents you.

Don’t let that fall by the wayside. Do your part. Go vote!