OUR VIEW: Voter apathy strikes again in primary election


By Daily News • Last Updated 9:47 am on Thursday, August 09, 2012

Despite multiple contested races on the ballots, voter turnout was low Tuesday in both Ionia and Montcalm counties.

Only 16 percent of registered voters bothered to show up at the polls in Ionia County, while just 17 percent participated in Montcalm County.

Suprisingly, two of our largest cities had the poorest voter turnout. The city of Belding’s three precincts had 11, 8 and 7 percent turnout, while the city of Greenville’s four precincts had 19, 15, 11 and 9 percent turnout.

Easton Township — which had a contested treasurer’s race — had an impressive 40 percent voter turnout in one precinct, with 34 percent in its other precinct, setting the record for this year in Ionia County. Forty percent is more typical for a presidential race during the general election. We like seeing such participation in a primary.

Reynolds Township — which had a hotly contested five-member township board race — had a 29 percent and 25 percent turnout in its two precincts, followed closely by Maple Valley Township, which had almost 28 percent.

We applaud the cities and townships that are home to residents who took the time to vote Tuesday, instead of dismissing the election as “just the primary.”

The primary election is a crucial step toward the general election in November. We are electing people who will represent us in a higher office, who will be working with local, state and federal funds. Why wouldn’t you want to have a say in who they are?

On a curious note, there were 38 write-in votes against State House Rep. Rick Outman, R-Six Lakes, and 12 write-in votes against challenger Mike Huckleberry, D-Greenville, in Montcalm County. One wonders what those write-in names might be?

Huckleberry and Outman will face off in the Nov. 6 general election.

Let’s hope local voters will challenge themselves to participate more in that election, as Huckleberry and Outman are challenging each other. We need more passion at the polls.

 

Editorial opinions are the consensus of The Daily News editorial board.

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