vote

As is the case during every election season, I use the platform afforded to me to encourage anyone who reads my words to vote.

Although I believe in this message no matter the timing, I feel this is an easier case to make during a general election.

Let's mix some more metaphors: I'm not personally a sports fan, but I am told people who are sometimes fail to watch the regular season games of a particular sport because they're just waiting for the playoffs. This feels analogous to how voters perceive the primary election.

Why should I make the effort now, they reason, if they are just going to ask for my vote once again in a few months?

This is reflected in the abysmal voter turnout for primary elections. The most recent early voting update I received from the Marion County Election Board was from Monday, April 29. This was the 17th day of early voting, and it absolutely crushed same-day totals for the 2015 and 2011 municipal primary elections. In 2011, 1,889 early votes had been cast by the same date, and in 2015, that total was 1,598. This year the total sat at 2,142.

2,142: A new record for the past decade, and absolutely embarrassing for the state capital of a first-world country.

For many of these races, it will simply be too late to make your voice heard in any meaningful way if you wait for the general election.

If you delay, what you're counting on is that the general election will be exponentially more meaningful than than the primary. This is completely incorrect. And, if you're a Democrat and living in Marion County, you're especially wrong.

Let's do some simple math: Just as an example, look at the races in Districts 8, 9, 13, and 14 for the Indianapolis City-County Council. In each of these races there is no Republican running, but there are multiple Democrats looking to fill the same slot. If you wait until November, it won't make substantive difference in these races since the party's nominee will have already been chosen, and there won't be another major-party candidate ready to take them on.

Or, take the Indianapolis mayoral race or the Council races in Districts 2, 3, 4, 5, 15, 16, or 17. These all have Republican challengers in them, but they also have multiple Democrats, as well. Will you support the candidate of which the Marion County Democratic Party approves, or will you support an outsider? Will you support an incumbent, or a challenger?

These distinctions matter.

So, vote, is what I'm saying.

Rob Burgess, News Editor at NUVO, can be reached by email at rburgess@nuvo.net, by phone at 317-808-4614 or on Twitter @robaburg.

Writer - Local Government and Justice

My background is that I'm the fourth generation in my family to work as a journalist. I also have a degree from Indiana University in Elementary Education. My wife, Ash, and I have two children, Harper, 4, and Emerald, 1.

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