Voter turnout offers important lesson about life

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

If Secretary of State John Gale is correct in saying voter turnout is a litmus test for our democracy, our litmus strips are kind of soggy with not much color.

Yes, voter turnout was higher in places like Lincoln and Omaha, which had significant bond issues on the ballot, but statewide, turnout was about 24 percent, only slightly higher in Red Willow County, which had an unofficial 26 percent turnout.

With 7,256 voters registered in the county, 1,894 bothered to go to the polls on Tuesday.

True, there weren't many pressing local issues, but the election was important to people like State Sen. Mark Christensen and challenger and former State Sen. Tom Baker, who will both advance to the fall ballot for the officially nonpartisan Nebraska Legislature. Baker has his work cut out for him if he hopes to replace his successor, who garnered 62 percent of the votes to Baker's 38 percent.

The vote was also important for Red Willow County Commissioner District 3, which apparently saw challenger Vesta D. Dack defeat incumbent Leigh T. Hoyt and former school board member James B. Coady.

Dack will advance to the Republican slot on the fall ballot, with no Democratic challenger in sight.

And there were dozens of other important votes taking place around Southwest Nebraska on Tuesday, votes that could have benefitted from better participation.

But the turnout offers an important lesson for all of us, students and veteran voters alike, as well as anyone involved in shaping a community: Decisions are made by those who show up.

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  • I guess our country may now be a Country, Of some of the People, by some of the People, for some of the People, considering the turn-out.

    This could well be the most important election in the History of this country, and the direction it is going, and we only muster 26% at the Primary? Shame on us.

    Perhaps we do deserve what we get.

    -- Posted by Navyblue on Wed, May 12, 2010, at 6:47 PM
  • I am ok with the voter turn-out IF....if only the voters that actually studied the issues and canidates voted. I really do not want those that have no idea voting. I also am moving closer to the idea that only those that pay the bills(taxes) should vote.

    -- Posted by dennis on Thu, May 13, 2010, at 9:49 AM
  • Pretty sure with the sales tax that should cover everyone.

    -- Posted by npwinder on Sat, May 15, 2010, at 1:16 AM
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