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The Globe’s Point – Where are all the voters now?

Written By Editorial Board

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Yesterday was Election Day. Across the nation, people voted for their local council members, district judges and mayors.

Odds are you didn’t vote in that election. Perhaps you didn’t know it was even
happening.

We at the Globe understand the basic civics concept that government starts at the smallest level – your local officials drive the decisions that impact you the most daily.

Exactly one year ago, droves of people headed to the polls to vote in the 2016 presidential election. Or at least they were mad on Facebook about it, seeing as 70 percent of registered voters voted in Allegheny county last year.

That turnout is pretty good – but that’s only 70 percent of the registered voters, not the total amount of eligible Americans.

When the primaries were held in May, the Post-Gazette headline read “Allegheny County voter turnout for primary races among lowest in a decade.” That turnout rate? 17.2 percent.

That’s a referendum that does not paint a pretty picture. It says the most base level decisions are being made by an incredibly small percentage of people. Elections are based on a majority rule – and when you parse that 17.2 percent out, it means you only need 8.6 percent of people to nominate someone.

The most basic way to have a say in the governance of this country is to vote. It costs nothing, yet we find time and time again the majority of voters only bother to show up every two or four years.

Let’s look at this inaction and use it as motivation to get out to the polls in May and
November every year.

We see fairly often in these opinion pages people passionate about supporting causes they believe in.

Wouldn’t it be great if we remained loud and let our elected officials know what we
believe in?

This isn’t a call to run for school board, but rather to keep tabs on how the borough council or county council is using your taxes. If you didn’t vote in the election this go around, you can still hold those elected officials up to the light.

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