This will be my son’s first time to enter a voter’s booth alone. He knows what the inside of one looks like. Before he could walk, he went with either his dad or me.
And he is super excited. The fact that as an 18-year-old he receives his selective service registration number and registers to vote has not been lost on him. That fact had actually never occurred to me until he mentioned it. He has skin in the game. I am glad he understands that. The truth is, we all do. But it seems many of us just do not get that.
Primary voter turnout in neighboring Indiana last week was 11 percent. And there were crowded races in several of the elections on the ballot. One in 10 registered voters surrendered their privilege to vote in a free election.
For the past three primaries in Daviess County, turnout was the following:
• 2016 Primary: 20.1 percent, 14,369 voters (presidential)
• 2015 Primary: 12.1 percent, 8,505 voters (governor)
• 2014 Primary: 20.6 percent, 14,311 voters (county elections)
So only 12 percent of registered voters in our community decided who would be on our last gubernatorial ballot.
We have many races here locally that will actually be decided this primary. Some are Democratic, such as the county clerk and the county attorney races. Others are Republican, such as the west county commission race. And lastly, even Independents can participate in this primary with the district court race.
So everyone of us has a role to play Tuesday.
If you feel complacent, disillusioned or start to feel plain lazy and don’t feel like making your way to your voting place, think of those first-time voters who believe that they can make a difference and that their voice matters.
The truth is — they are right.