A very sad electorate

Posted: Sunday, October 09, 2005

I wish someone could give me a reasonable explanation as to the lack of civic duty by almost 71 percent of the voting population of Juneau. It astounds me that in a country where men fought and died for their right to have a voice and a choice, that the majority still refuses to let that voice be heard and that choice be known. It astounds me that in this country that regularly enters the fight so the citizens of countries like Afghanistan and Iraq can live in a democracy and exercise the right to vote, a majority of the people still take for granted that right.

I am astounded at the resounding antipathy that 71 percent of Juneau's registered voters show toward the election process. Every time I have the opportunity to vote, I do so, whether or not the issues are close to my heart, whether or not I am tired, whether or not I have the time, whether or not I feel like it. I do so because I am a citizen of this country and a resident of this city. Being asked to give my opinion about who should be leading or which policy should be instituted is an honor. Without a vote, the entire foundation on which this nation was built is undermined.

My husband said that maybe 71 percent of Juneau's registered voters don't care. Perhaps 71 percent of the registered voters are lazy. I guess it is possible that 71 percent of the registered voters had too many other things going on that they couldn't take 10 minutes to cast a ballot. I say any excuse other than bed-ridden illness or loss of a limb isn't good enough. It is a privilege and a duty to vote on the issues because only by doing so do you get a true representation of what the majority wants, not the majority of 29.6 percent of the people who actually voted. I find it terribly sad that the majority of the voting population is really willing to let the minority speak for it. I find it terribly sad that the majority of Juneau's voting population has so little confidence in the power of their own voice that they are willing to let the minority of the population make the choices for them. I find it all terribly sad.

Teresa Bleakley


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