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….