The League of Women Voters of Wyoming is concerned by the reports of such low voter turnout for the Aug. 19 primary election: statewide only some 37 percent of registered voters bothered to vote, and in some places the percentage is lower.
This should concern all of us, because it means that between 16 percent and 19 percent of registered voters are deciding on who will govern us all and what taxes we all will pay.
The following passage from a convention speech by the first president of the League of Women Voters of the US, Maude Wood Park, stated the problem very clearly, about 100 years ago, but it applies today:
“By far the most serious of our opponents is the colossal inertia of large numbers of persons. If this nation ever faces final disaster, it will be because what is everybody’s business is nobody’s business except the self-seekers.”
“We need to rewrite that old adage. In this respect ours is a stupendous undertaking, for inertia is a thoroughly uninteresting opponent.”
“Thrills do not come easily in a struggle against sheer dead weight, but that weight must be moved if we are to succeed. If we have the courage to try, we do not need genius or even extraordinary qualities in order to succeed.”
“All that we shall require is steadfast faith in democracy, common sense and persistence – if we have all three – and keep them together – we are invincible.”
In America we are fortunate to have free and fair elections in which votes actually count. To waste this tremendous advantage makes no sense and imperils our way of life. Please consider taking action at the next election to persuade friends, colleagues, members of clubs or associations–everyone–to go and exercise that most powerful of civic privileges: cast a vote.
The League has materials and will be delighted to help you in this critical project. Please visit our website, www.wyominglwv.org, for ways to get in touch with members of a League near you.
It is up to each of us to take this simple step to keep our government in our hands.
Amy K. Williamson
President, LWV of Wyoming