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If you didn't vote, you can't complain

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Election turnout was good locally, but could have been better

By James Roberts

 

Taylor County Clerk Mark Carney issued the challenge and Mannsville answered.

In Monday’s issue of the Central Kentucky News-Journal, Carney challenged Taylor County voters to post a 50-percent turnout, double what was predicted statewide.

And while the county as a whole posted a very impressive 34.3-percent turnout, Mannsville posted 50 percent on the nose. I tip my hat to the 331 Mannsville voters who turned up at the polls Tuesday and to the 5,856 voters across the county. Now, for the 65.7 percent who didn’t vote.

Voter apathy is a big problem across the United States. Too many folks believe that their vote doesn’t count, that their voice isn’t heard. I don’t think that is true, but I promise you that one way to ensure your voice isn’t heard is to not vote. Our state and our country are in bad shape.

One glance at the unemployment numbers should paint a clear, but bleak picture. People are hurting out there and too many of our elected officials don’t seem to care.

Sure, they tell reporters they are doing all they can to help the people, but all too often their actions (or inactions) say otherwise.

And 65.7 percent of Taylor Countians are fine with that. I guess 65.7 percent of Taylor County residents don’t care about unemployment, about starving families, about the future of Kentucky.

What other conclusion could I draw? It’s sad when we feel proud because 34.3 percent of registered voters did their duty on Election Day.

Read the story on today’s front page about the work that the Veterans’ Honor Guard are doing in Taylor and surrounding counties. How do you think they and other veterans feel about a voter turnout of 34.3 percent?

They fought for our right to vote. And most of us discard that right like yesterday’s newspaper.

So, our local turnout was better than the statewide average 28.6 percent. That is reason to celebrate.

More Taylor Countians care about the great state of Kentucky than the rest of our fellow residents of the Bluegrass. I’m proud of that. And all of us who voted Tuesday should be, as well.

But how amazing would it have been to have doubled or even tripled that number? How awesome would it have been for our little county to have made national headlines for the highest voter turnout ever?

I guess we’ll never know. One last thing for those who didn’t vote. When one of the people elected Tuesday does something you don’t like, keep your mouth shut. You excluded yourself from the process by not voting.

If you want to point fingers, just look in the mirror.