To the editor: Eighteen percent.
That’s the percentage of registered voters who voted in the local elections that just happened. Not even 1 in 5 registered voters came out to have a say in how their city and borough will be run.
Voting is maybe the most important right we have and a pillar of our country. These local elections are extremely important. They make decisions on local things that matter day to day such as schools, police, fire, water, etc — the things that affect us much more day to day then what Congress or the president does.
For such an overwhelming population, either through ignorance or apathy, to choose to not have a say in these important matters should be incredibly frustrating to anyone who really believes in a government of, by and for the people. When so few people weigh in on issues this critical, it leads to an unrepresentative system that does a poor job of representing the people of the city or borough and creates distrust of these critically important institutions — institutions that make choices that will affect everything from how clean your water is, the quality of your roads, and how your children will be educated.
To all of the around 14,000 people who did come out and vote in this election, thank you. Even if you voted against every candidate I supported I’m glad you paid enough attention and cared enough to come out and have your say. I hope you can talk to your friends or family about this and explain to them why these elections matter and hopefully next time we can push that turnout number a bit higher. Because only 18% of people making their voices heard on the issues that will affect them most is alarming to anyone who believes in government of the people, by the people, and for the people.