You have to wonder why they do it? Politicians of all stripes crisscross this state and nation seeking to inspire voters to “like” them at the ballot box. And for all the money and time spent, they aren’t shown the love by a vast majority of registered voters. Voter apathy is certainly bipartisan. According to the Center for the Study of the American Electorate, the vote in this year’s primary season has been down nationally by 18 percent in the 25 states that held state-wide primaries. During the primary season, Georgia had one of the lowest turnouts in the nation and the second lowest in the South at 13.37 percent. Thank God for South Carolina at 12.06 percent. Georgia was far from the worst. Iowa and Nevada had less than 10 percent of its voters show up. Texas and Maine couldn’t muster 12 percent.
Those statistics were posted before Tuesday’s runoff where only 618,237 of Georgia’s 4,933,572 (as of Nov. 26, 2013) decided to vote. A paltry 12.5 percent. In Bibb County there are more than 82,000 registered voters, but only 8,576 voted in the Republican and Democratic runoff elections. Some of the low turnout in Bibb can be attributed to the lack of local races and on the Democratic side, just one race for the state school superintendent nomination. But what’s up with Houston County? In addition to the statewide races, there were local school board races. Still, the turnout was only 12.4 percent. It was also interesting on the Republican side to see the 95,126 vote differential between those who voted in the Senate race but didn’t bother to vote for a nominee for the state school superintendent race.
You have to love them. Candidates put their lives on hold to support our system of government. Whether they’re wearing an elephant’s suit or donkey’s, they deserve better.
When we wonder why our republic seems to be going to hell in a handbasket, instead of pointing fingers at the politicians, we should look in our mirrors to see the real culprits. While the winners are certainly happy they won, the turnout has to leave a bitter taste in their mouths and have them second-guessing why they wanted to do all that for people who just don’t care.