Editorial: Trickle-up voting can change government
The message is the same before every primary, and every general election.
Get out and vote.
It’s important. It’s how our system functions. We need to have voters participate in order to have representative government. The people who make the decisions have to be the ones who the voters have chosen. They are the ones who most closely align with the thinking of the voters, or the ones who have their trust.
But voters need to do their part.
Yes, the system will still putter along if voters don’t participate.
If only one in 100 voters showed up at the polls, those votes would be counted and that’s what would carry. As a phrase that has been attributed to several people but used repeatedly by writer and director Aaron Sorkin says, decisions are made by those who show up.
They are also made based on the information available.
We need to challenge ourselves to be more than just people who show up at a polling place, sign a name and push a button.
We need to know not just where we are voting and when, but who we are voting for and why.
We need to know what the issues are in our communities, and where the people whose names are on the ballot stand on those issues.
We need to have an informed opinion of where we are, where we are headed and how we get there.
We need to ask questions.
We need to participate.
We need to be involved in our local government, in our school boards, in our counties and authorities.
We need to hold our leaders accountable every day, not just when an issue hits close to home.
We need to give as much attention to who is running for office in our neighborhood as we give to the top ticket race in 2020.
Economics is sometimes talked about as trickle-down. Voting can be the same way. More people always vote in a presidential year than a year like this, one where the candidates are all homegrown and local.
Our involvement has to be trickle-up. If we are an informed electorate that cares about every race every year, we raise the discourse, which raises the quality of the candidates at every level.
And that starts with showing up.