I saw the number and cringed, just like some of you did.
On Tuesday, only 13.39 percent of registered voters in La Porte County bothered to go to the polls in the city elections. These elections were to determine each party's candidates for Mayor and City Council in the November general election. In many cases, because candidates would most likely be unopposed in November, this election put people into office, for all intents and purposes.
Yet, with all that on the line — perhaps even the fate of two respective cities — nobody seemed to care. For each of your 100 Facebook friends, less than 14 of them took five minutes to head to their local school, church, etc., to have their voice heard.
In relation to this troubling statistic, you may have seen words like "pathetic" or "disgraceful" displayed on your social media outlets.
I'm not really interested in getting into all that here, though. Rather than chastise those who did not exercise their constitutional right, I'm much more interested in the answer to one question: Why?
Do people feel disconnected from the process? Do they feel disconnected from the politicians themselves?
Do they feel as though their one vote represents a voice too tiny to be truly heard? If it's general disgust for the way government operates, don't they feel compelled to try and affect change? Do they care enough to even think that far ahead?
Is it just general apathy?
I ask these questions not to judge, but because I'm genuinely interested in the answers. Not just as the editor of a local newspaper, but as a lifelong member of a community that I want to see succeed.
So, if you're reading this and you have thoughts on the subject, I'd really love to hear them. If you voted and you want to tell me why you voted, I'd like to know. Perhaps even more importantly, if you did not vote, I'd like to hear why. Drop me an email using the information below. Call me. Drop off or mail a letter to 422 Franklin St., Suite B (our door faces the north).
I may even use some of the responses in another column. If you prefer to remain anonymous, that's cool, too. I just want to hear the "why". Let's have a conversation about this.
I think this stuff is important. Maybe you do, maybe you don't. What I want to get to, though, is the "why".
Contact Managing Editor Adam Parkhouse at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-219-214-4170.