I voted in the primary yesterday and thought I would share a few thoughts. Our area just had people on the ballot for the at-large City Council seats, so I went in, did my thing, and was out in less than two minutes.
-We have three parishioners on the ballot in the general election! This is very exciting. I have also made friends with some new people who are running, and I am happy to say that these are all great people who are civic-minded, regardless of their political leanings.
-Turnout was pretty low – the article from the T&G puts it at around 8.7%. One precinct, which will go unnamed, had 5 people come out to vote. Normally I defend low voter turnout – it is a sign that people are content with the status quo. But I have been rethinking this. Clearly people are not engaged on any sort of level here. Politics is but one piston in the engine that moves society, but it does have a place, and it is sad and frightening to see such a disengagement. When people do not feel part of a society nor want to participate in it there will be problems, and this seems to be what is happening.
-I voted at our quite precinct and was amused by the setup. The door to the voting area had a small sign saying vote here and a gigantic sign, with a red-slashed circle, saying NO SMOKING (in two languages). I do not promote smoking, but really – would anyone even think of lighting up in such an area (remember I voted and was there for only two minutes, if that)? And why a huge, and no doubt expensive, sign? Is this really the most important thing? Sometimes I think we have become a parody of ourselves….