By MATTHEW NASH
May has arrived and brought with it another primary election day. If I had to guess, I would say that newspaper opinion page readers are more prone to vote than members of the general public at large, but still the number of people that will be voting next week is going to be low.
Many people act like they are concerned at everything that is going on around them, but this primary election will likely still not generate much interest at all.
Are you concerned at the direction the state of Indiana is going? Do the bridge tolls or other highway problems concern you? Do you feel that Indiana is moving in the right direction as it pertains to the “gay marriage amendment?” Do you think that our schools are being funded properly, and do you agree with the direction of the state as it pertains to education?
Nearly everyone has an opinion on each of these matters, but very few will take the time to vote next week. This year, we will pick the leaders that make the decisions that affect our lives and work for us in Indianapolis. Our state legislatures have a huge impact on our day-to-day lives, yet when it comes time to decide who those leaders will be, no one shows up.
In Floyd County, we will pick who will represent us in the districts of the county council. The At-large candidates who are voted on countywide are not up for election this year, but two of them are seeking other positions, and should they win they could radically change the face of this body.
This council controls the purse strings of Floyd County, which has fallen on hard times in recent years. The decisions on how our tax dollars are spent here at home will be made by the people we elect for these seats. Do you know enough about who is running?
One of the main reasons cited for budget woes has been the mismanagement of the Floyd County Auditor’s office. Many have said that the person that was elected four years ago was in over his head and was incapable of doing the job he was elected to do.
Forced to resign last year, he will not be on the ballot. How did he even get the job in the first place? So few people were involved in the election process, and the ones that were had no idea what person they had elected.
One of the most hotly contested races in this year’s primary election seems to be the Floyd County Sheriff’s race. It is one of the few positions that are on the ballot that have opposition in both political parties. It is also the office that is responsible for one of the largest budgets in the county.
With the current sheriff unable to run due to term limits, it should be an interesting race. This office is one that historically been held for two terms — or eight years — by a candidate. Since I have been voting and as far back as I can remember, the incumbent has won re-election and many times was unopposed.
Three of the judges in our county will be decided this year, but in only one race is there a decision to be made in the primary election. Judge Glenn Hancock has decided not to seek re-election in Superior Court No. 2 and both parties have contested races in the primary election. The other two judges are unopposed in the primary and have no candidate to face in the general election in November at this time, although that could change.
On Tuesday, May 6, the registered voters of Indiana will head to the polls to elect the people who will lead us for the next four years. Even though we will not be electing the president of the United States, we will still be voting for people that have a huge impact on our lives.
People always seem to be concerned with who is in charge in Washington, D.C., but what impact do they really have on our day-to-day lives?
This year, we will vote for the leaders who will have the most impact on us. We will pick the people that will decide how our tax money is spent and what they will do for us in this community.
How will our roads look, how will our schools run? These are the questions that have the largest bearing on our lives and most people will not even take a few minutes out of their day and go to vote.
It is time to decide what direction our state and local governments will go for the next few years. It is important that citizens head to the polls and make an informed decision and pick the most qualified candidates on the ballot.
We have had a few months to decide who the best candidates are and now it’s time to pick.
The next four years could be some of the most pivotal for us here in Southern Indiana in quite some time; we can’t afford to get this wrong.
— Matthew Nash can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org