Early voting started yesterday in jurisdictions across the state and will run through Thursday, Oct. 30, from 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
In Wicomico County, the polling site is the Civic Center and in Worcester it’s at the Gull Creek Retirement Community in Berlin. It’s our hope the recent trends with early voting – those that confirm it’s not popular among voters – will be flipped this election, and that the people will surprise us and choose this convenient option.
The turnout for June’s primary was disturbing – at about 20 percent. It was thought it would be light due to the summer scheduling, but the truth is it was just about what it was historically when it was in September. The fact is people, generally, are just not engaged in elections these days.
To be truthful, understanding this as a reality now, we have not invested a tremendous amount of newsroom time in previewing the various elections next month. We certainly have not ignored the election and the political season, but we have learned that our readers are more interested in the current events of the day rather than long election previews and interviews with candidates. The feeling here is candidates have more than enough avenues and opportunities to engage with voters that the populace simply does not look to the media as much as it once did for information on candidates and their views on various issues.
Over the next 10 days, the political season will hit its apex. If they haven’t already, the mailboxes will soon begin to be filled with campaign materials. The commercials in between your television shows and sports events will take on different tones. Readers will also notice some unique and new advertising space in this newspaper as well.
Elections are important every year, and it’s critical that residents view them that way. There is much riding on the numerous seats up for grabs on the local, regional and state front next month, and we hope the citizenry is serious about their obligations to express their voices.
Next week we will offer our endorsements for a variety of local elections of significance. It’s not important that we all agree. What’s critical, though, is expressing your opinion by simply voting between now and Nov. 4. You have many opportunities and we encourage you to utilize the voice so many of our predecessors worked so diligently to achieve and protect.