Imagine going to one of your favorite restaurants for dinner. As you take your seat and settle in at your table, a surprising sight unfolds before you: a parade of dishes starts arriving. The server remarks, “Here we go,” and you can’t help but look puzzled as you declare, “I didn’t order any of this.” It’s then that the server informs you that 15% of the diners in the restaurant have collectively chosen your appetizer and main dish, and in due time, your dessert will also be served based on their selection. They all believed that this should be your dinner. While it may sound unusual, the story continues.
Alternatively, consider a scenario where you’ve diligently saved up for a down payment on a new car and are now prepared to make your choice at the local dealership. Upon your arrival, the salesperson unexpectedly hands you the keys to a brand-new car and says, “Here you go, enjoy your new car.” Confused, you inquire about the situation and are informed that three other car shoppers have collectively decided on this car for you. Would you take home a new car that you hadn’t personally selected? Most likely, the answer would be no.
This situation is a real-life occurrence that takes place in every political election when you opt not to cast your vote. Voter apathy, as defined by Wikipedia, is the disinterest or indifference toward politics. This encompasses not only voter apathy but also a lack of engagement with information, disinterest in elections, political happenings, public gatherings, and the act of voting.
By abstaining from voting, you are effectively granting others the authority to choose your local, municipal, county, state, and federal leaders. While it might appear at times that these public servants have minimal impact on your life, this perception is far from accurate. When it comes to local politics, your Town Council Representative serves as your voice on all matters pertaining to your town. They collaborate with fellow board members to determine which town projects will be undertaken, their locations, and, most importantly, the prioritization of these projects using the property tax dollars contributed by you. Your Representative should be readily accessible to you so that you can express your opinions regarding specific projects, necessary road repairs, or increased police presence in your neighborhood. While your Representative may have their own ideas, these should primarily be informed by the feedback received from district residents, rather than personal beliefs about how things ought to be or who should benefit from your tax contributions.
Admittedly, it can be challenging to sustain the motivation to vote, especially in this municipal election where two out of the three positions have uncontested candidates. However, by neglecting your right to vote, you are allowing a small minority of registered voters to dictate decisions on your behalf. Just as you’d want to choose your own dinner or select the car you purchase; you should also have a say in who represents you on your Town Council.
If you have already voted through absentee balloting or early voting, I extend my gratitude to you. If you have not yet voted, I urge you to consider casting your ballot on November 7th. This is your right, and I appreciate your time spent reading my blog posts. I pledge to maintain open communication with you if I am honored with re-election to serve you.
Town Council President and YOUR Ward 5 Representative