The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

November 13, 2013

Low voter turnout: Only 2,344 people voted in Tuesday’s Enid election


Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — In a word, turnout for Tuesday’s city of Enid election was pitiful.

Only 2,344 people cast ballots in the election that gave municipal workers the right to union and collectively bargain with city management.

Granted, the vote wasn’t on something more glamorous such as an election for mayor or city commission, or the parks plan we voted on earlier this year, but that’s still a pretty paltry turnout.

No doubt, the cold, windy conditions played some role in the low turnout. We can imagine a lot of people decided they didn’t want to get out in the cold to vote.

What we really don’t understand, though, is the number of people who commented on social media sites that they didn’t know there was an election.

Really?

The News & Eagle reported extensively on the matter, from when it was brought up months ago — when city workers submitted a petition to get the measure on the ballot — until the election itself.

The fact the election was coming up and what it involved was publicized several times, not only in the pages of the newspaper but on the News & Eagle’s website and Facebook page, too.

It also was publicized on other social media sites and on local radio, as well, so for someone to profess not knowing there was an election is more an indictment of their own awareness rather than the media coverage.

Some people suggested the city should have put information about the election in with the water bills as a way to inform people. Perhaps city officials should have, but it’s not really the city’s responsibility to make sure people know an election is going on.

It comes down to a matter of personal responsibility. People really need to take it upon themselves to know what is going on in their community and to learn about the issues. You can’t rely on someone else to baby you along and keep you informed.

It’s your community. Get involved and know what’s happening to make it a better place for us all.