The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

February 15, 2013

Not many registered voters filled out ballots in Tuesday’s Enid City Commission election

ENID, Okla. — We were disappointed when we saw the turnout for Tuesday’s Enid City Commission election.

Granted, not everyone in the city got to vote, since candidates were up in just three of the six wards, but we would have liked to have seen higher numbers in those wards where there were races.

Ward 3 covers east-central Enid, and is bounded by 30th to 78th and Rupe to Garriott, with a parcel of land running west from 30th to the railroad tracks near Grand between Walnut and Garriott. In Tuesday’s election 230 voters cast ballots out of the 2,742 registered voters, according to Garfield County Election Board figures.

That comes out to 8.4 percent of registered votes.

In Ward 4, which covers northeast Enid, bounded by Van Buren to 78th and Carrier to Willow, with a portion extending south to Chestnut between 30th and Washington, 263 of 3,088 registered voters cast ballots.

That’s 8.5 percent.

In Ward 6, the turnout was considerably better, but still was pretty anemic.

Ward 6 covers northwest Enid, bounded by Carrier Road to Willow and Van Buren to Wheatridge. There was a hotly contested three-way race in the ward, and 1,116 people cast ballots out of 5,289 registered voters.

 That comes out to 21.1 percent, more than double the percent in the other two wards.

We understand Tuesday’s snow probably cut down on voting, but it’s really not an excuse. People have so many more options now than they did in the past.

They can vote by absentee ballot, and they can go to the election board and vote early.

Local government is no less important than the state or federal government. In fact, it probably has more impact on people since it is local.

The men elected Tuesday are the voters’ friends and neighbors. They are much more approachable than state or national politicians because of that.

It’s a shame more people didn’t exercise their right to vote.

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