Fifty percent voting is not enough

Published 7:00 am Friday, November 11, 2016

Tuesday’s election can be considered one of the most recent to garner a near record-breaking participation rate.

That’s right, more than 56 percent of the registered voters in Pearl River County cast a ballot for several offices, one of which was for the leader of our nation.

It was a large turnout, understandably so because of the impact presidential elections have on the country.

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The last time that amount of people turned out was the presidential election of 2008 when President Barack Obama was voted into office for his first term.

There’s a contrast, however. When an election does not involve choosing our

country’s next leader, an even less people find the time to make it to the polls.

For comparison, during the election of 2014 only about 30 percent of the registered voters turned out.

That’s an unfortunate fact. Even worse, to be impressed that 50 percent of registered voters participated can be considered quite sad. 

If we think back to the generations of people who fought so hard, some more than others, just to earn the right to vote, many of those people would shake their heads in disapproval at such a dismal participation rate.

Ideally, voter participation should be closer to 100 percent.

Not just because having that right should mandate participation, but more so to honor and remember the challenges our predecessors overcame to ensure we have a voice.

That right is even more valid during local elections.

If more people participated in local elections, then maybe we would also see more public participation in local government in all fronts.

When the public is involved in government, there’s less chance of corruption, less chance for things to slip through the cracks and an ideal of a vested interest in our nation’s future.