Nearly 79 percent of Floyd County voters stayed home during the primary election on Tuesday, and what makes that fact even sadder is that the number of voters who turned out in Floyd County is higher than the turnout in Kentucky.  

Statewide, nearly 81 percent of voters chose not to go to the polls.

Yes, that’s right. Nearly 81 percent of Kentucky voters chose not to go to the polls. 

It’s the same, tired story that we’ve reported repeatedly now. 

Last year’s numbers were better in Floyd County and for the state, when there were local elections on the ballot. 

The statewide turnout was 23.54 percent during the primary election in May 2018 and it was 47.38 percent during the general election in November 2018. 

In Floyd County, turnout was 37.5 percent in May and 44.4 percent in November. 

That means that last year, 62.5 percent of the county’s registered voters in May and 55.6 percent of voters in November decided to let their neighbors chose their elected leaders.

The lack of voter enthusiasm in this county, this state and this country is disheartening; especially because of the political divisiveness that has become the norm these days. 

But we can’t let this define who we are as a country. We can’t check out and not participate in this democracy. If everyone did that, then who would chose? 

Regardless of the year or what’s on the ballot, it’s important for residents to be a part of our democracy. It’s actually a vital part of what keeps this country plugging along. 

When only a few people let their voices be heard, the government we get in that vote is selected by that few.  

When governments are elected by only a few people, huge swaths of people in this county, this state and this country are left out. Instead of being represented by the leaders they chose, those people who do not vote are represented by people who were picked by everyone else who voted.

Why would anyone want to live in a country where the laws that govern the way they live, the taxes they pay and the priorities of their communities are selected by leaders that were picked by other people? If you have a voice, why wouldn’t you want to speak up?

There’s still time, Floyd County. The general election is just a few months away. 

We encourage Floyd County residents to turn out in droves. If you’ve never voted, let this be your first year. 

If you know someone who does not vote, encourage him or her to cast a ballot.

Don’t just live here, work here or pay taxes here. Decide that this is the year you help create the community you live in because you cast your ballot in support of things that are important to you. Don’t let other people make that choice for you. 

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