Is it any shock that a record low 4.5 percent of registered voters turned out in Columbia on Election Day? The turnout was hardly helped by the fact that the mayor’s race and one City Council race were not even on the ballot.
The fact that Mayor Steve Benjamin and Councilman Daniel Rickenmann were “re-elected” by legislative fiat, instead of appearing on ballots for voters to choose, made a sham of this election.
Surely the turnout would have exceeded a mind-boggling 10 percent had we been given the choice. The combination of pervasive voter apathy and dictatorial abrogation of elections are all the ingredients needed for a banana republic.
My wife and I always vote, and increasingly we are in the minority. Why do citizens not exercise their right to vote that so many brave Americans have fought and died to protect? It is a baffling state of affairs.