Our View: A plea to hit the polls

Published 12:14 pm Friday, May 17, 2019

Thousands of voters will head to the polls Tuesday to elect the Republican and Democratic candidates that will for vie for numerous state offices in November.

Despite those thousands of people taking an active role in our country’s democracy, thousands upon thousands more eligible and even registered voters will not.

It’s an unfortunate reality that only a small percentage of eligible voters actually vote in our country, and even more during primary elections.

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According to the Kentucky Board of Election, only about 27 percent of registered Clark County voters cast a ballot in the 2018 primary election. That number does not take into account the vast number of people who are eligible to vote but are not even registered.

Tuesday’s ballot will include candidates for governor/lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general and commissioner of agriculture on both party slates. The Democratic slate also includes candidates for auditor of public accounts and state treasurer.

In the last primary which included these offices on the ballot, turnout was embarrassingly low. In Clark County, only about 12 percent of registered voters participated.

The issues with low voter turnout are plenty and complicated. And we won’t pretend to have an answer to encouraging more people to vote.

But we do want to play a part in encouraging our neighbors to be more active in the election process.

These people are being elected to make important decisions about policy, spending and transparency in our state. They play a major role in our quality of life, attracting new businesses and more.

It is incredibly sad and, honestly, pathetic — there’s not better way to put it — that only a fourth or even less of the registered voters are making these huge decisions for our state as a whole.

If you take into account that only about 3,300 people from Clark County made the ultimate decision for our community in the last primary that included a governor’s race, that’s concerning.

And it’s evidence that those who are being elected to serve our communities and our state are not representing the general population’s interests as a whole — which is the whole point of our democracy: fair and equal representation.

This is our plea to our readers to please participate in Tuesday’s election.

Polls are open 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

We encourage each of our readers who are registered voters to make their way to the polls Tuesday.

If you are not registered, please take the time to register and play an active role in this process.

To view a sample ballot, register to vote, update your voter registration information, find your polling place or view election results, visit govoteky.com.

Your voice still matters in a primary election.

It is your right and your privilege to participate in the election process. Don’t waste it.