Tuesday’s non-partisan municipal elections in Bladen County once again, and quite expectedly, showed just how uninterested voters here are.
Bladen County has a total of 5,753 registered voters — which in and of itself is a fairly low number from among the county’s 35,000 residents. But of those who are registered, only 1,325 of them turned out to cast a ballet. That’s a meager 23.03 percent.
In past municipal elections, the argument could be made that there were few if any challenged races or important referendums to decide.
But that’s not the case this time around.
Town council races in Elizabettown, White Lake, Dublin and Bladenboro had challenges to incumbents. And in Tar Heel, a town council seat was at the mercy of write-in votes.
In Bladenboro, the incumbent mayor was facing two challengers and the town had an all-important referendum to change the charter from a council-manager form to a mayor-council form of government.
All of that makes Tuesday’s election night an important one.
Sadly, only a sliver of the folks who will be affected by the decisions made Tuesday took the time to vote. We don’t know who those folks are who did not vote, but the fact they kept their vote to themselves should effectively muzzle their complaints between now and the next municipal election.
It’s impossible to say whether the decisions made Tuesday would have been different if more voters turned out. But we always find ourselves wishing that at least a majority of the voters were making those decisions on election night. In Bladenboro, for instance, the good news is that almost half of the registered voters cast a ballot — but the bad news is that less than half of the registered voters decided some important issues.
We give our kudos to those who felt it important enough to run for office, campaign and cast a ballot either by absentee, during the early-voting period or at the polls Tuesday.