May 18, 2017 10:52:54 AM
Tuesday's municipal runoff elections failed to bring a majority of registered voters to the polls. Even so, we are encouraged by the turnout in one important respect. Typically, runoffs attract the fewest voters of any our elections, be they local or state elections.
But locally, the turnouts were better than expected, especially in Starkville where almost a 1,000 more voters turned out Tuesday than for the previous primary elections.
We are always pleased when citizens perform their civic duty by going to the polls. Time and again, especially in these municipal elections, every vote does matter. Tuesday's Starkville mayoral race was decided by just seven votes. If anyone doubted the importance of their vote, there are numerous examples from one end of the Golden Triangle to the other.
Aside from a sense of civic duty, we are certain another reason for the better turnout Tuesday was that voters recognized they had real choices to make.
This election cycle drew a strong field of candidates, candidates who represent real alternatives. When citizens have real choices to make, they are more inclined to participate.
So we congratulate not only the voters and the winning candidates, but those candidates who sought to serve but were not chosen by the voters. They, too, have earned our gratitude. For many, stepping into the public arena is not an easy thing to do, so we applaud those candidates for stepping forward and urge them to stay engaged.
The work of the voters is not done, of course. The general election will be held on June 2 and their of seats in city government are to be determined.
So we again urge all registered voters to speak with their votes.
Your vote does matter.