Editorial Cartoon

Last week’s filing deadline for candidates seeking placement on the primary election ballot means it is officially election season. 

It also means there’s no better time than now for Floyd County residents to register to vote. 

There were tons of local candidates on the ballot last year, and there were a lot of important races. But still, the majority of residents of Floyd County — and Kentucky — did not vote. 

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.

We hope that statistic changes this year. There’s no reason it can’t be different. With all of the political divisiveness that has surfaced in this country, there’s never been a more important time for every person who is eligible to vote to exercise his or her right to do so. 

It’s a new year, folks, and there are still plenty of important races on the ballot. Regardless of the year or what’s on the ballot, though, 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 was 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?

This month, there are 30,069 people registered to vote in Floyd County, a decrease of 14 voters since December 2018.

We encourage Floyd County residents to increase that number. 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.

When it comes to promoting or protecting the things that are important in your life, the most important vote, folks, belongs to you. Don’t let your neighbors make that choice for you.

Pledge to cast a ballot in 2019.

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