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Friday, July 26, 2013

Participation - Letters to the editor of the Record Journal

This letter to the editor appeared in the July 26, 2013 edition of the Record Journal

Editor: The political season in Wallingford has begun with both parties declaring their candidates. The question now is whether or not the voters of Wallingford will participate. In 2003, 49 percent of all registered voters came to the polls to vote in the local election in Wallingford. Sadly, this is considered a high turnout for a local election. In 2005 and 2007, the voting percentage declined even more and reached a new low in 2009, with only a 35 percent turnout. In our last election we saw a slight increase to 39 percent. This still represents a 20 percent decline from the high-water mark of 2003.

Our candidates will be watching the voting population and will act accordingly. As citizens, we need to play our part — and using recent history, we are not pulling our weight. Demand more from our candidates. They are asking us for our votes and we should hold them accountable for a past record (if applicable) and demand an answer as to how they will serve the whole town’s needs in the future, if elected. Our government will be as good as our participation. Accepting 25 percent of all registered voters as sufficient to elect a mayor (and even less to be on town council and board of education) is a failure on our part as an electorate.

Be informed (attend town meetings, watch the rebroadcasts on public access, read the paper, meet your candidates). Get engaged (talk to your neighbors, candidates, ask questions, participate at meetings because it is your right, and most of all come out and vote). Your voice, your opinion will be heard if you vote.


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