The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Viewpoint – For change, local voter turnout must improve

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By Tabitha Redder/reporter

Tarrant County held local elections last week, and the turnout was disappointing, as usual.

Noting this problematic presidential administration (has it really only been 10 months…?) and its horrific amount of cringeworthy scandals, many hoped this would be the catalyst citizens needed to finally engage in and change local and national politics.

In many places on Election Day, it was.

Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City won a second term as did Democratic Mayor Marty Walsh of Boston.

More surprising were elections in Virginia where voters elected Democrat Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam as governor and Democrat Danica Roem to serve as the first openly transgender person on the Virginia legislature.

The movement continued in Charlotte, North Carolina, where voters elected Democrat Vi Lykes as its first female African-American mayor, and in St. Paul, Minnesota, where Melvin Carter became its first African American mayor as well.

Elections nationwide echoed this progression. Virginia analysts said the elections “represent the purest test of grass-roots anger at the president,” according to The New York Times. 

If red and blue cities all over the country can vote, why didn’t Tarrant County?

Over 1 million Tarrant County residents were eligible to vote in Tuesday’s elections, but only a pathetically miniscule 53,975 people exercised the right. That’s just under 5 percent.

In a state where lawmakers have introduced disturbing legislation recently, including the infamous “bathroom bill,” the “rape insurance” bill and a bill cutting the cost of a firearm license, it’s imperative that citizens voice their opinions to lawmakers if there is any hope for remedying the sickness in this country’s political system.

So, Tarrant County, let’s take an “L” this time but pledge to show up in numbers for next year’s elections in March.

Mark your calendars now for Feb. 5, 2018 as it’s the last day to register. The primary election is March 5.

Diversity and inclusivity won across the country this local election season. And, hopefully, Tarrant County can join in next season.

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