You have seen the signs. You have quite possibly met the candidates around town or at your own front door. You have probably seen at least open letter detailing why you should vote for a particular candidate.
And come this Tuesday, it all comes to a close. Yes folks, Election Day 2011 is literally just around the corner.
By now, most people surely have at least a vague idea of whom they intend to vote for. Hopefully everyone knows where they are going when they head to the polls. And really, hopefully more people are planning on coming out to vote this year compared to year’s past.
In Shelton’s last mayoral election, only 40% of city residents who were eligible to vote turned up at the polls or cast absentee ballots. That number is relatively average when compared to the statewide average for voter turnout, but it is fairly depressing when you consider that 60% of the eligible voters in Shelton did not cast ballots.
There are a multitude of reasons for this happening. Voter apathy no doubt plays a major factor. Often it seems that people view local elections as not really mattering compared to the larger state and federal elections. Local elections do matter just as much as these other elections, if not more so in that these are the people who are making decisions on a daily basis that affect the community in which you live.
Low voter turnout can also be attributed to eligible voters not registering to vote, which many times can circle right back to voter apathy. If one does not have a reason to think they should vote, why would they register to do so in the first place?
There are likely a multitude of other reasons many voters do not turn up at the polls, but these appear to be the most common excuses. Regardless of the reasons, the 60% who do not cast votes need to be encouraged to do so. Elections are supposed to determine what and who the majority of people want in their government but when more than half of the population does not vote it can be quite difficult to assess if the results are what the actual majority wanted.
Even if you do not have an opinion on all of the candidates, it does not mean you are forbidden from approaching the polls. You can vote for as many or as few positions as you would like so if you are registered to vote, head over to your polling location on Tuesday and have your vote counted!