Business & Heritage Clarksville
Local News, Business, Arts, Heritage – DAILY — Serving the Clarksville, TN region.



News

August 8, 2014

Opinion: Low voter turnout is “shameful”

voting 10

By the time polls closed on August 7, Election Day, a meager 8,105 people cast votes in one of the biggest fields since 2006. Add that to the 11,906 people who voted in the early voting period, and just 20,011 people took advantage of their right to voter. 20.8 % of the 99,000+ voters who are actually registered in the county. It was an embarrassment.

I’ve heard the excuses that “I was too busy” or “I coudn’t find the time…”

What? No time to vote even with an early voting period that spanned six days a week for several weeks  — yes, you could even vote on several Saturdays.

That 20% elected a new County Mayor, Jim Durrett, who beat incumbent Carolyn Bowers by a substantial margin. Brenda Radford held her county trustee post by a slimmer but still majority vote over Brandi Whitfield Bryant. For State Senator and judicial incumbent Tim Barnes retain his seat, ousting challenger Merriel Bullock Neal with a significant margin, 64% to 32%. Dan Cramer (D) earned the right to challenge Marsha Blackburn for U.S. Representative. Eighty percent

It was a long multiple page ballot that was both daunting yet simple. Push a button. Plenty of voting booths were available at the Election Commission and at the precincts. It was an important election (but then, they all are).

As I scanned the results, they were few surprises.

I even expected the low number of voters, which didn’t make me feel any better.

In 1971 I voted for the first time, and haven’t missed an election yet. Even when I was recuperating from a back injury in a nursing home, I secured an absentee ballot. I lived in New England then, and managed to vote on the nice fall days and the not so nice ones, when I and thousands of other voters sometimes braved sleet, snow, ice and wind to exercise the privilege of voting in November. We didn’t have early voting then; we had just one day to make our voices heard. I recall covering elections until the wee hours (and sometimes days) because all voting was on paper ballots that had to be counted one by one.

I also took my daughter and my grandchildren with me to vote, teaching them the importance and the value of having those ballots to check. This year I hobbled into the polls with a bad hip and distinct mobility problems, but I still hobbled in. My daughter wasn’t in much better shape but she too walked in, cane and all, to cast her votes.

All I can do is congratulate all the people who ran, congratulate the winners, and congratulate the people who campaigned for the candidates, watched polls to assist voters or check on irregularities, and congratulate those who did exercise their right to vote.

Good, bad or indifferent, the rest of the 77,000 who did not vote deserve what they get. If you don’t like state policies or county government, that’s too bad. You threw away your right to complain and I don’t want to hear any bellyaching from you.

We have the traditional election coming up on November 4 with an early voting season prior to that. I’ll be voting early, then waiting and watching to see what happens. We will likely have a bigger turnout, but to me, anything less than a 75%  minimum will continue to be an embarrassment. I’d like to see a near-100% turnout but then, I dream big. It’s a habit of mine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



About the Author

Christine Anne Piesyk
Christine Anne Piesyk brings over 40 years of experience to the pages of Business Clarksville; she has edited news, opinion, politics, business, arts/leisure, food, lifestyle, education and travel pages in both daily and weekly newspapers. Now retired, she words as an editorial consultant, and remains an editorial consultant to Business & Heritage Clarksville. " At 18, she began working with film and theatre critic Sam Hoffman, and at 27 launched The Entertainment Review as a radio medium with Jesse Garon. As a film/arts critic, she co-produced the Review for 25 years in both print and radio. The number of films she has, seen, studied or reviewed number in the thousands. "Lifelong education and a career in media have afforded me extraordinary opportunities," Piesyk said. She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in individualized studies from Goddard College.




 
 

 
fort campbell

Officials schedule press conference Fort Campbell downsizing

City of Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan and Montgomery County Mayor Carolyn Bowers invite members of the media to attend a press conference to discuss the immediate need for community support in addressing the potential upcoming...
by News Staff
0

 
 
Group

Sheriff’s office receives ten automated AED units

Montgomery County Emergency Medical Service (EMS) recently presented the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office with 10 (ten) Automated External Defibrillators or AED units for use in on-duty patrol cars. The AEDs were obtained ...
by News Staff
0

 
 
riverview

Riverview Inn becomes green-certified

The latest business to host a Green Ribbon Cutting for becoming Clarksville-Montgomery County Green Certified is Riverview Inn.
by News Staff
0

 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Facebook

Twitter