Here in Jackson County we have had our first taste of spring with some welcomed warm weather and nice days. Spring also brings with it rain showers, beautiful flowers and of course the General Municipal Election Day for our cities, schools, fire districts and water districts in Eastern Jackson County.
While many things about spring seem to evoke great anticipation for most people, that does not seem to carry over to Jackson County’s General Municipal Election Day. In the past four Municipal Elections in Eastern Jackson County the overall voter turnout has been abysmally low as evidenced in the following:
2013 - 12.18%
2012 - 12.26%
2011 - 13.21%
2010 - 13.35%
Our local cities, schools, fire districts and water districts affect our daily lives and it is very disconcerting when we have such low voter turnout. Elections are the foundation of our system of government---we vote on major issues and we elect the people who will represent us and we must be rigorous in our approach to taking the time to understand the issues and casting our all-important ballot on Election Day.
No one knows why voter turnout has been declining over the course of the past several years. There has been many excuses offered like "I only vote in the Presidential Elections, they are the really important ones" or "I don’t know anything about who is running so I just won’t vote" but it all rings hollow. Today, with all of the information at our fingertips it has never been easier to take the time to do a bit of research and educate ourselves on the issues and the candidates for your local city council, school board, and fire or water district. Many cities have candidate forums where you can meet your local candidates or find out information about a ballot question. This is a good time to attend these forums and ask questions or voice your concerns.
The Jackson County Election Board encourages all of our voters to take part in this very important process and get out and vote. Absentee voting for the April 8 election began on February 25th and will run until April 7th at 5:00 p.m. The polls will be open from 6:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. on April 8th. We encourage you to visit our website at http://jcebmo.org to check your voting precinct and learn of the candidates and issues on which you will be voting.
The last date to register to vote in the April Election was March 12th. If you missed the registration deadline for the April election, we encourage you to prepare for future election opportunities by contacting the Jackson County Election Board, located in Independence, Missouri and we will guide you through the registration process.
See you at the polls!
Tammy L. Brown
Director Jackson County Board of Election Commissioners