Where were all the voters?

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By James Roberts

Where were the other 6,000 voters?

On Nov. 4, Taylor County saw a record number of residents heading for the polls and casting their votes.

In all, 65 percent, or 10,997, voters voted. However, the county also saw a record number of registered voters with 17,023.

It stands to reason that there will always be a percentage of registered voters who don't vote, but 35 percent?

Really, when you think about it, there is no excuse not to vote. If you're going to be out of town, you can vote weeks ahead of time on the absentee machine. If you're sick, bed-ridden or otherwise physically unable to make it to the polls, you can vote by paper absentee.

Unfortunately, there is no option for laziness.

Cynicism could play a role. I myself feel that there was little difference among some of the candidates. In a few instances, I felt, one candidate was just as bad as the other.

But surely we could all agree that there were a few people who warranted our votes. Even if the bad candidates far outweighed the good, the good still deserved your support. Besides, perhaps that one good candidate is the man or woman who may just provide the spark that turns this nation around. It has to start with one person with a single great idea.

Think about it. We are on the verge of another great depression. People are losing their jobs and their homes. Going to college and getting a degree doesn't always guarantee success anymore. The job market is getting smaller, while the pool of applicants is as deep as ever.

But 6,000 Taylor Countians didn't care. They stayed home on Nov. 4. Maybe their picks won anyway. But that's not the point.

"I was too busy to vote," some might argue. That excuse doesn't fly either. The polls are open for 12 hours. This year, because of the switch to paper ballots, up to eight people could vote at once. I myself waited for 20 seconds before I could vote. 20 seconds. It took me three minutes to fill out my ballot. And I had 12 City Council seats to consider.

The fact that precinct workers started filing into the courthouse about 10 minutes after polls closed meant there were few or no lines at 6 p.m. Yet, we voted a record number of people.

What does that tell you?