Reversal of fortune and voter apathy

Something interesting occurred during Tuesday’s primary election.

And something disappointing.

The interesting result from the election: Approval of an issue raising the income tax in Tiffin from 1.75 percent to 2 percent, with the extra revenue to be spent on streets and bridges.

That amounts to between $1.3 million and $1.5 million to be spent on building, maintaining and repair roads and bridges each year — three to four times the amount now allocated annually. That means local residents — actually, anyone who visits Tiffin regularly — should notice significant improvements by the time the levy faces renewal in five years.

How much will it cost the average Tiffin household? CLRresearch.com, using Census Bureau data, states the average household income is $49,758 annually. The increase approved Tuesday would cost that household less than $125 a year.

The levy was rejected by less than 53 percent of Tiffin voters last November, when the ballot included two countywide tax issues. Tuesday, the same proposal was approved by more than 54 percent of voters.

Which brings up the disappointing part: turnout.

There are 34,463 people registered to vote in Seneca County. Just 7,323 of them cast ballots in Tuesday’s election.

A statewide issue affecting how congressional districts are drafted was on the ballot Tuesday. On top of that, Democrats and Republicans decided crowded primary races for governor.

Yet roughly four in five voters failed to cast a ballot. Some, perhaps, were too busy. Others might by disinterested or unconvinced voting makes a difference.

We fear too many merely shirk their duty and let others decide issues for them.

COMMENTS