Our Opinion: Exercise your voice – vote
News Tribune editorial
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Twelve percent may be a great interest rate, but it’s a pitiful voter turnout.
Cole County Clerk Marvin Register, the county’s chief election authority, predicts a meager 12 percent of voters will cast ballots in Tuesday’s election.
Jefferson City voters will decide a citywide proposition pertaining to trash service and elect municipal officials. In addition, patrons in the Jefferson City School District will elect three members to the seven-member school board.
Among arguments of proponents of initiatives placed on ballots is that voters -- rather than a smaller number of elected representatives -- should decide the issue.
That argument is compelling for certain issues. It would be much more persuasive, however, if a significant majority participated in the decision.
If the 12-percent prediction is accurate – and Register rarely misses the mark by a wide margin – the issues could be decided by slightly more than six percent of voters.
Paltry percentages also will decide candidate races in Jefferson City. Among them:
Municipal judge Incumbent Marshall Wilson and Cotton Walker. City prosecutor: Renee Godbee and Brian Stumpe. First Ward: Incumbent Bob Weber and Tyler Woods Third Ward: Incumbent Bryan Pope and Ken Hussey. Fourth Ward: Carlos Graham and William Luebbert Fifth Ward: Ralph Bray and Scott Stacey. In the Jefferson City School District, three seats are being sought by four candidates: Marie Peoples and Tami Turner, both incumbents, and John Ruth and Larry Henry Jr. We continually are baffled when eligible voters fail to go to the polls on Election Day to help choose the people who will lead our city and school district.
These are the men and women who will determine how your tax dollars are spent. They will shape existing projects and establish the course for the future of municipal government and public education.
Don’t let a mere 12 percent of the people speak for you for you while you remain mute.
Editor's note: Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Election results will be posted to our website.