Tuesday, September 22, 2020


The Sacred Privilege

In 2013’s municipal election, Madison voter turnout was 33.4 percent. In 2015, turnout reached 40.3 percent. In 2017, with an uncontested race for first selectman, it dropped to 29 percent. (We need not even mention here the budget referenda that often hover in the teens.)

And then in 2018, with exciting and consequential races up and down the ballot, 74.3 percent of Madison’s registered voters (more than 10,000 of us) came out to vote in an election that was so tightly contested—as you may recall—it ended in a recount.

So when Nov. 5 rolls around next Tuesday, whoever you’re readers have chosen to support, I hope they’ll come out and vote. If they haven’t made up your mind yet or want to know more about any of the candidates, there’s been plenty written in these pages—and there’s even more to be found online. (And if residents won’t be around on Election Day, they should hurry on down to Town Campus for an absentee ballot.)

Could we break 50 percent turnout for a municipal election this year? Judging by the number of lawn signs posted and pieces of mail sent and doors knocked and phone calls made, I think we might have a chance.

So let’s take seriously the sacred privilege of voting—and the lessons learned that every vote actually counts!—and let our voices be heard next Tuesday at the polls.

John-Michael Parker