Voter apathy an ongoing problem

Glyn Meranto
October 23, 2006
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November 1, 2006

Dear Editor:

Apathy: Lack of feeling; lack of interest in things which others find moving or exciting. In other words, “Don’t care one way or the other.”

After 45 years of voting, many years working as a poll commissioner and active in my community and church, the poor turnout for almost ANY election on any given issue never ceases to amaze me.

The fact that people will find a way to get to a Saints game or a rock or rap concert or to get to a casino but have NO plans for transportation to go vote or even to evacuate in case of a hurricane also amazes and puzzles me.

If “things” don’t turn out the way we’d like for them to turn out it’s because the whole has eroded into many little parts. Our wetlands are breaking up and dissolving; our barrier islands have all but disappeared because proper action has not been taken to remedy the problems. It’s a reflection of what is happening in our society. Proper action by the voting public has eroded into a sea of apathy. We are supposed to be A CITIZEN-LED DEMOCRACY.

“United we stand, divided we fall.” Is it because over the years our politicians have disappointed us so much that the majority no longer bother to vote?

And what will NOT voting solve? It will only get worse. It’s not only our fundamental right, it’s our responsibility as citizens of the United States of America to get involved!

We’re quick to blame politicians but our representatives in government will make decisions based on what they’re hearing from their constituents.

If they’re hearing from only 20 percent, then 20 percent of the voters are making the decisions for the other 80 percent. Special interests groups win because they yell louder than the “silent majority” AND they get out the vote! Voting is the only time that we can DIRECTLY bring about change in our government.

Cajuns are hard-working, resourceful, good people so it can’t be because it’s too hard to get out and vote. This letter is NOT in reference to the way the vote turned out in the last election but rather the LACK OF VOTER TURNOUT. After all my years in Terrebonne parish involving many significant issues I have concluded if apathy made a sound, the noise would be deafening!

I urge every registered voter to participate in the political process; KNOW the issues and the candidates.

Study the constitutional amendments which changes the meaning of parts of our state constitution, study propositions which can become law. Use the power of your informed vote to strengthen our democracy.

Sybil Guidry