At the end of Tuesday’s meeting, the mayor rose to a point of personal privilege to speak about the recent election. The results were certified last Friday. The mayor, a bit of a data nerd like me, had been looking them over and doing some math. He pointed out a sad truth: only 7% of registered voters cast a ballot this election. That’s as low a turnout as I can recall. 7% of voters cast a ballot. Let that sink in. That means 3.6% of registered voters chose the new Councilmember for Ward 2. A mere 7% stepped up to make the choice, and 3.6% chose the person who will represent all 18,000 registered voters, all 23,000+ residents. All of that is to say, echoing the mayor’s comments, that voting is a privilege and a duty. Your vote matters more at the local level than anywhere else. None of us should abdicate that responsibility or give up that privilege to a mere 7% of us. We vote again in two years. I will anyway. And I hope you will too.
The mayor also congratulated Councilmembers Hutchings and Roche on their re-election (which he pointed out was not a given…just ask the mayor of Pacolet), and he congratulated Mr. Rupe on his win (although he unfortunately wasn’t there).