There’s a few things we can take from this last election in Jasper County and Newton. One is that the trend of poor voter turnout continues as always. Only 23 percent of registered voters could be bothered to take part in the community they live and work in, which makes no sense since so many people here have so many opinions about how Newton and the county are governed, and aren’t shy about voicing those opinions on social media and elsewhere. Yet when it comes time to actually put action to words, they seem to always have something better to do. It’s sad to realize that so many here are not interested in how Newton is governed, or about how the schools their kids attend are being managed. By not voting, you are making a choice. A choice to let others make your decisions for you. So don’t complain about taxes or roads, or schools, or parks, or budgets, or city council meetings, or anything else. If you don’t vote, what you think and complain about is of no consequence.
Another thing we can take from this election is that those who did do their civic duty and voted understand that experience and honesty still matter, and those who find ways to sneak around rules about running for office, and those who have personal agendas or vendettas against those who serve in elected offices aren’t the types of candidates we want to see elected. And while everyone loves a free meal and free movie, voters won’t necessarily be swayed by such blatant attempts to buy their vote. Good for the voters for seeing through all that.
Finally, I’d like to thank the Newton News and always busy Chris Braunschweig for his excellent reporting on the candidates, and the article about our new county auditor, explaining what is involved in running an election. With all the misinformation and vitriol we have seen against these election workers, it’s nice to see reporting like this that gives us peace of mind that our elections are being handled smoothly and with integrity.
Now I can only hope that those who lost their elections will accept the results with grace and dignity, and that they will work together with those who won towards making Newton a better place for all residents, regardless of whether or not they voted for them. That’s how a community grows and prospers, through mutual cooperation rather than with bitterness and finger-pointing.
Thanks to those who voted. And for those who did not vote...please rethink about how your vote is your voice, your only real voice in creating the community you wish to live in.