Democracy requires our participation

By: 
John Tarrant Editor and Publisher

Special elections were held in both Antrim and Kalkaska Counties on Nov. 7. Most of the folks eligible to vote in those elections didn’t bother to show up, apparently having had something more important to do that day.

There was only one issue on the ballot in all 12 Kalkaska County townships - a $23 million bond proposal to build a new facility for the Kalkaska County Road Commission (KCRC). According to the Kalkaska County Clerk’s office, there are 17,001 registered voters in the county but only 3,923 of them actually took the time to vote. That is only 23 percent of those eligible to vote. Of that number, 2,581 of them voted “No” as opposed to 1,342 who voted “Yes.” I guess you can say that 13,078 voted “Don’t Care.”

In Antrim County, the Village of Bellaire was looking to improve the quality of its Police Department with an additional four mill tax levy. The village straddles two townships - Kearney, which on election day, according to Antrim County Clerk records, had 510 voters who resided within village limits, and Forest Home, which had 431 village residents registered to vote. That’s a total of 941 registered voters in the Village of Bellaire, but only 241 showed up to vote. That’s just slightly less than 26 percent of the electorate who chose to participate.


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