I read with interest your front page article on May 26 regarding the low voter turnout for the May 18 election. It is the duty of every citizen to be actively involved in their government, whether voting for the President of the United States, or voting for board members of the library. Granted, one could use the excuse that library board members can’t or won’t change the world, however, for one to be a good citizen, one must develop the habit of being involved – and the way we can be involved in our everyday life is to take a few moments of precious time and vote every time there is an election.
Historically the primary is another election that has low voter turnout. Idaho has closed primaries, the definition of closed primary is: “closed primary A type of direct primary limited to registered party members, who must declare their party affiliation in order to vote. The closed primary serves to encourage party unity and prevent members of other parties from infiltrating and voting to nominate weak candidates.” A point of fact, in the 2020 primary there were 879,001 registered voters and 334,713 people voted (38%); 200184 registered republican who voted in the primary decided almost all of the elected officials statewide.
In the November general election there were 995,087 registered voters; 878,527 voted (88%); 554,119 voted for the Republican candidate (or 350,000 more registered Republicans than at the Primary). Those 350,000 people forfeited their ability to have any input in the majority of Idaho’s elected positions. Currently we have 86 republican legislators, 19 democrats for a total of 105 legislators. Only about 34 of those legislators vote consistently for conservative principles. This gives global/corporate money and special interest groups more authority over state policy and lawmakers.
If we believe that Idaho is one of the last standing conservative states, and we wish to keep it that way, we need to be actively involved in every election assuring that those elected are truly conservative. I urge all of you to check out your representatives, their voting history, remind your neighbors to vote and make the pledge to be there to vote at the next primary.