Imagine a community of roughly 11,000 that has a local government consisting of six elected officials who make all the decisions about taxes that pay for police, roads, parks and more. And then imagine that three of those officials all were up for reelection, without oppostition.
Now, take this leap with me: Imagine that all three of those incumbent members of Elizabethtown Borough Council were reelected in the primary election by a total of 359 votes.
Yes, out of 11,000 people in Elizabethtown, a sheer 359 voted for half of Borough Council in yesterday's primary election. According to unofficial results posted on the Lancaster County Board of Elections' website, I received 94 votes from approximately 1,500 eligible voters in Ward 2. Tom Shaud from Ward 1 received 91 votes, and Phil Clark in Ward 3 got 174.
Earlier this spring, the Elizabethtown Advocate did a story about unopposed candidates and later editorialized about the lack of opposition. The paper made excellent, salient points about the issue. If this year's primary is any indication, the lack of interest in local government now extends to those who vote.
And indeed, it is power to the people who vote.