VALLEY PATRIOT EDITORIAL
Last month, the city of Methuen held a preliminary election for mayor and city council and only 9% of the registered voters bothered to participate.
In Lawrence, only 30% of the registered voters participated in their preliminary and that was considered unusually high.
Though many candidates would like to blame their opponents or the current office holders for the conditions of their city, it is clear that those most responsible are the people who live and work there, yet refuse to lift a finger to make it better.
By not voting, those who stayed home have abdicated their political power and civic responsibility to a handful of people who are activists, union heads, non-profits, candidates and campaign supporters.
Those who did not vote have ensured that those who do, will have a louder voice and a stronger influence over the the running of their city in the coming years.
This ensures that political insiders will continue their strangle hold on power, making it that much harder for outsiders to achieve elected office, and make changes in city government.
People who vote in a low turnout are hardcore voters (or super voters) who are mostly responsible for those currently in office, (having voted them in during previous elections.)
This allows the candidates and their campaigns to focus on the small percentage of people who eagerly participate, rather than finding ways to increase voter turnout and come up with creative solutions for the problems facing local governments.
You don’t even have to go to the polls on election day, you can vote by mail (absentee). And yet, most people are just too lazy or apathetic to do that.
Lawrence and Methuen are facing some very tough challanges in the next few years.
You can either be part of the problem or part of the solution.
If you don’t vote… you are clearly part of the problem!