Our View: Voter inaction
Two weeks ago, 60 percent of the people who logged onto the Craig Daily Press's Question of the Week noted they would not vote in Tuesday's election.
They took time to vote to say they were not going to vote.
The Daily Press always is skeptical of referencing the Question of the Week as an editorial source because it is not a scientific poll.
For all we know, one person logged onto the Web site and voted "no" multiple times. Or "yes" multiple times. Who knows? The Question of the Week is more of an interactive tool to give us a gauge on what the community is feeling.
What is scientific?
The number of registered voters -- 87 percent -- who did not go to the polls to elect the upcoming Craig City Council.
Historically, voter turnout in these elections is low, between 525 to 547 voters in the last two such elections. This year, 671 went to the polls, which is a solid increase.
But one number makes the editorial board think that number is insignificant: 5,134.
Notice the comma in the number.
That is the number of registered voters who could have cast their ballots in this election.
There are a variety of reasons as to why voter turnout is so low.
It could mean people didn't know about the election, didn't care about it or didn't think it would matter.
Or maybe they feel confident enough in the current system or confident enough in others to make that decision for them.
Or maybe, there wasn't enough done to inform the public on the election. How come there weren't more forums, more people out shaking hands and kissing babies?
Regardless as to why people did not vote, it means 13 percent of the population took an active voice in how the city's $24-million-a-year budget will be spent, and how the future of Craig may be shaped.
Don't take this wrong, the editorial board is confident that the City Council will listen to issues brought to it by all those who come before the council, whether they voted or not.
And this editorial is not chastising those who did not vote. Life can be fast-paced and a lot is on people's plates. Time is a valuable thing.
It's meant to thank those who did vote, and encourage those who did not to become more involved. Give yourself a voice in the political process and do so.
And if you think it doesn't matter, tell us why. If the system is broke, how can we fix it if no one speaks up?
As the saying goes, silence is acceptance.
With that said, the editorial board thanks Tom Gilchrist and Kent Nielson, whose City Council careers came to end due to term limits, for their time served on the City Council. It can be a rough and often thankless job, and you should be congratulated on your efforts and accomplishments.
And the editorial board also congratulates Mayor Don Jones and Councilman Joe Herod on their re-elections, as well as Ray Beck and Rod Compton for being elected to serve the city of Craig.
One-hundred percent of Craig's future is in your hands.