Voting in Chenango County

Jessica Lewis

I love when I have the opportunity to vote. It doesn’t matter whether I’m voting in a presidential election or for a local school board member, it’s great to feel like your opinion actually matters and you have a say in who is going to represent you for the next few years.

After hearing the results of the last batch of local elections, I have to wonder how many people are actually taking the opportunity to voice their own opinion. On Wednesday, several villages throughout the county held elections for some local positions.

There were two issues with most of these elections. First of all, very few of the candidates ran with any opposition. In fact, out of all of the races in the county, I think only two positions had actual competition for the seats. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. As long as someone is willing to do the job, I guess that is a positive for the community, but the fact that so few people want to get involved seems like a problem to me.

The other issue with the races is the number of people who actually took the time to vote. Now maybe people think it is silly to vote in an election when there is only one person running, but it’s still a right that people in this country have and something that should be taken advantage of.

In one village, the total number of voters who came out to cast their ballots was 17. I know that some of these areas have very small populations, but for only 17 people to come out for an entire election seems pretty ridiculous. Is it even worth the money to pay someone to monitor the voting booths for that long?

Here in Chenango County, and everywhere, I think we need more local involvement. I’m the first to admit that I probably won’t be running for public office anytime soon, but I will make sure that I vote in every election I can and that I make an effort to stay informed about what is happening in my hometown, my state and my country. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think that’s something all of us should make an effort to do.