Editorial: Low voter turnout is part of state’s problem

By on February 11, 2010

A former Illinois governor is in prison and another is likely on his way.

The state is facing an unprecedented $12 billion budget deficit, and schools and social service agencies are still waiting on word when they can legitimately expect state payments for money they are already owed.

On Feb. 2, the Illinois public had an opportunity to go to the polls and begin the process of taking their state back from the corrupt in Springfield; they had an opportunity to make their voices heard and demonstrate that it is the individual voter who actually holds the power in the state of Illinois.

And when that day came, just over 20 percent of registered voters showed up in Kane County. Statewide, estimates show that under 30 percent came out on election day.

It is hard to fathom why so few people went to the polls, when those who have been elected in prior elections have led us down this path of corruption and insolvency.

Our hope is that because the election was a primary, in which candidates run against each other in their own party, people stayed home because they chose not to align themselves fully with either party.

If that is the case, then we hold out hope that the turnout in the general election in November will be much higher.
However, if that is not the case, then we wonder what kept people home.

It is an issue that deserves consideration, because an apathetic electorate will lead to, at best, more of the same, and at worst … well, it is hard to articulate what could be worse than the mess the state is currently in.

If the level of turnout is similarly low in November, we possess just as much of the responsibility for the failures in Springfield as those who supposedly serve us there.