Every vote counts, even those that are not cast

August 23, 2012 

The primary contests for both political parties are over and we’re off to the races that will be decided in November. What this primary season, as well as those in the past teaches, is that every vote counts.

Tuesday, there were several races decided by less than a handful of votes. In the Senate District 26 race between Miriam Paris and David Lucas, 221 votes was the deciding margin. In the Republican runoff for the U.S. House seat, District 2, 485 votes sends John House to the November race with Rep. Sanford Bishop.

In District 12, Lee Anderson won the right to meet Rep. John Barrow by 154 votes. But there were even closer races. In the Republican primary for state House District 1, the margin was 102 votes -- and in District 92 in the Democratic state House primary, it was 19 votes out of only 791 votes cast.

In Bibb County, there were three other races for the Bibb County Board of Education and only one, District 3, where incumbent Susan Sipe won by 121 votes was close.

What should depress everyone, but it obviously doesn’t, is the low turnout. In the state Senate District 25 race, 8,494 fewer people went to the polls than on July 31.

We ought to get better, but too many of us have lost the will to participate in our civic discussion. And that gives those who do vote more power than our Founding Fathers intended. It also allows lawmakers to skirt too many issues because they know at election time all they have to do is please a small minority of voters to win.

-- The Editorial Board

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