OUR VIEW: Voter turnout numbers are low, let’s change that on Tuesday

Published 5:50 pm Friday, March 17, 2023

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If early voting numbers are any indication, the upcoming election will likely have a very low turnout.

As of the close of early voting on Friday afternoon, only 1,783 people have cast in-person advance ballots in Troup County for the SPLOST VI referendum and the mayoral election in LaGrange. Prior to election day, less than 4 percent of Troup County’s 47,000-plus registered voters have cast a ballot.

Half of the voters in Troup County typically vote in advance so we are likely looking at a sub-ten-percent turnout. We certainly hope we’re wrong. 

Maybe local voters are getting burnt out on politics. With runoffs, two special elections and one more on its way in June it wouldn’t be unreasonable for some voter fatigue, but both votes on the upcoming ballot are important to the future of LaGrange and Troup County.

For LaGrange, what’s more important than deciding who leads the city? The new mayor will play a huge role in selecting our new police chief and fire chief, not to mention setting the agenda for the city’s immediate future.

As for the SPLOST referendum, it will have a major impact on every resident in Troup County.

County, city and local business leaders have repeatedly explained the importance of the SPLOST vote, which helps provide much-needed funds for capital projects throughout the county. 

We agree. SPLOST provides funds for roads, water, sewer and other necessary expenses that would otherwise have to come from property taxes. 

Yes, we pay into SPLOST funds, but only pennies at a time, and not all of it. Visitors to Troup County also contribute funds to our SPLOST.

Regardless of your view on the SPLOST or the mayoral candidates, Tuesday is your final chance to make your voice matter on either decision.

So go vote on Tuesday, March 21. Otherwise, less than a tenth of the voters in Troup County make the decisions for all of us.