By the time all of the ballots were counted and the county website was updated, total voter turnout in Racine County for the April 2014 election Tuesday was a dismal 12 percent.
East of I-94 the turnout was even lower, at about 10 percent. This baffled us. Two years ago we had six elections including the recall elections, which resulted in 80 to 90 percent voter turnout. And Denise and I will never forget covering all of those rallies at Gorney Park and in downtown Racine. People were angry, but engaged. And although we never like seeing friends lose friends over politics we decided to dig a little deeper on this issue.
So on the Racine County Eye Facebook page, we asked … what gives?
A rather high percentage of you claimed to not have enough knowledge and blamed the lack of media coverage.
“I do get the paper, but found little in it about the candidates and barely any contests to vote on. First time I didn’t vote in a number of years,” one reader said.
Another Facebook follower agreed.
“I do not think the election was publicized enough. I really had no clue about it until Monday,” they said.
But you know what? We don’t accept that reasoning and here’s why: voting should be a treasured right, and claiming to not have the information you need because it wasn’t delivered to you isn’t good enough. Citizens of this community have a responsibility to get informed, get to the polls and vote.
Another one of our Facebook friends pointed out that apathy at the polls often leads to greater problems down the road.
“Apathy is running wild and has been for a long time the end result will not be pleasant,” they said.
We agree, and we have to say that we also agree that if you don’t participate in the process, then you also don’t get to complain about the results. As another reader said, “Don’t vote, don’t (expletive).”