Letter: Widespread Voter Apathy

Registered voters nationwide, and especially in South Florida, had an abysmal showing in the recent primary elections, and this begs the question, why won’t registered voters vote? Traditionally, in any election, if turnout is low, it does not bode well for the challenger.

When voters are unhappy with the incumbent, they tend to turn out in significant numbers to vote him or her from office. This was the case recently with ex-County Commissioner Addie Green in Mangonia Park.

My message to all incumbents who are not fulfilling their campaign pledges and are not representing their constituents effectively, forgetting that you are a public servant, you could and should be voted out of office.

You can fool some of the voters/people some of the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.

Although primary elections in Florida are traditionally characterized by low voter turnout, this year, the turnout was dismal. How can the residents of the western communities hope to be empowered political communities if they refuse to vote?

A recent survey found that more than 23 percent of eligible voters were not even registered. However, a fierce voter registration campaign is seeing a significant increase in voter registration among minorities and other eligible voters.

Voter apathy has led to a number of corrupt politicians being re-elected. This is a practice that we must put a stop to.

General elections, like the one due in November, are not as popular as presidential elections, but this year, voter support is particularly bad.

For example, in the Broward County Commission District 8 race, an estimated $600,000 was spent by the candidates resulting in just over 8,000 votes.

The candidates flooded the districts with campaign material, media advertisements, robo calls, etc., but despite all of the work, the turnout remained very low.

This significant apathy requires a comprehensive study at local and state level. It must be determined why voters won’t go to the polls and vote. What is causing this reluctance, and what can be done to fix it? The lack of support is far from encouraging to these candidates seeking to represent our communities at various levels of Florida politics.

I am deeply concerned that the dismal showing of the last election could seriously demotivate potential political aspirants. To spend over $300,000 to get just over 4,000 votes must be really very frustrating.

A major question is, do we have confidence in our local candidates and do voters believe that elected officials do not effectively represent the issues relevant to them?

Something is causing this apathy, and we need to find out what. If we in the western communities are serious about political empowerment, then every registered voter must make an effort to vote.

The Town-Crier and Palm Beach Post newspapers constantly encourage us to vote. Let’s follow their lead. Hopefully, the voters, especially in the western communities, will turn out to vote in record numbers come Nov. 4.

Karl Witter, The Acreage