As I write this I’m surrounded by the telltale signs of autumn. The leaves are parting ways with the trees, the temperatures are dipping below freezing (much to my dismay), and Twitter is once again full of obnoxious photos of pumpkin spice lattes. And here at Voices, it’s every newspaper editor’s favorite time of year: election season! (That’s my one exclamation point for 2013. Savor it.)
It may not be the presidential election (you’ll have to wait until 2016), or even the statewide election (2014), but these local elections affect our daily lives far more than most national races. So it’s a real shame that voter turnout is so low in these so-called “off” years.
On Nov. 5, we will pick people who will shape the future of our communities. They’ll decide who runs the schools our children attend. They’ll decide how to develop our downtown districts. It’s in these local elections that our votes and our voices have the most impact.
|Managing Editor Sean Flynn|
So it should be shocking that dozens of the candidates running on Nov. 5 won their primary elections with a literal handful of votes. In seven State College precincts, fewer than 2 percent of registered voters actually showed up to the primaries. Two precincts in State College reported zero ballots cast. That’s right: they finally held an election and nobody came.
If you want to see change in your community, go vote. If you want to see your community stay on the same path, go vote. If you consider yourself an activist, go vote (and bring some friends). No more ifs. Just go vote. Some housekeeping: Our email addresses are changing. See the masthead to the left for details.
This issue, we take a critical look at unpaid internships. We’ve got farm mobs, political candidates, a fall festival, and a whole bunch more. But we couldn’t publish this paper without with your support. Volunteering as a Voices citizen journalist is an opportunity to do meaningful work that changes people’s lives. We need writers, photographers and editors. Email us for details.
Finally, I realize we’ve just finished NPR pledge drive season, but if you enjoy reading Voices, please consider supporting us financially. Your support helps us cover our expenses and plan the future of independent journalism in central Pennsylvania.