11/08/07 — Turnout dismal: Apathy of voters not good sign for deciding big issues

View Archive

Turnout dismal: Apathy of voters not good sign for deciding big issues

How many Goldsboro voters does it take to decide who will be the next mayor?

About 13 percent.

Sounds like one of those bad jokes, doesn’t it?

But that is exactly what happened Tuesday when residents were asked to pick who will lead their city for the next few years.

And Goldsboro was not the only place where an eyebrow or two should be raised.

In Mount Olive, a perennial fixture in Mount Olive politics had to dust off his mayor’s plaque and run again because there was really no one qualified in the race.

He is vowing to work hard to make sure that won’t happen next time around.

The extremely low turnout for this election is a warning sign for those who are going to bring big issues before the voters in the future — and for those of us who think that elections actually represent a majority’s opinion.

Would you want 13 percent of eligible voters in Goldsboro to decide a school bond levy? Or a new tax for your home?

Well, when so few people punch ballots, that is what you get.

This election is over, but there will be another. As we make plans for the future of this community, perhaps we ought to also come up with a way to get more of its citizens to participate in decisions that affect its future.

It is just as important as a new community building.

Published in Editorials on November 8, 2007 11:22 AM