Apathy About Voting Threat to Our System

Claims of schemes for “voter suppression” were common during the months before the general election on Tuesday. In the vast majority of situations, they were meritless attempts to stir up anger for partisan reasons.

Besides, it’s clear public officials don’t need to be involved in voter suppression. The voters do well enough on their own.

In some Northern Panhandle and East Ohio counties, fewer than half the registered voters bothered to go to the polls for the general election. That was despite the fact both West Virginia and Ohio have excellent early voting and absentee ballot programs.

Even in Belmont, Jefferson and Harrison counties, which had the highest turnout numbers in our area, percentages of registered voters who went to the polls were between 63 percent and 66 percent.

This is nothing new, of course. Voter turnout has been sliding for decades. No one seems to have any good ideas about how to solve the problem.

Frankly, we don’t have any. Just about every conceivable “get out the vote” strategy has been tried. Clearly, however, repeated failure on that score does not bode well for our system of government.