, Corbin, KY


May 22, 2014

Voter apathy has spread to all corners of society

CORBIN — The editorial and advertising staff of the Times-Tribune breathed a collective sigh of relief yesterday once Tuesday’s primary election came to a close.

Some of us here in the newsroom felt sort of “numb” from the lengthy day we faced — I would say those working polls and in the county clerk’s offices can attest to and sympathize with our weariness.

And while I was reviewing election returns from our Tri-County area, I felt like Whitley County Clerk Kay Schwartz did on Tuesday night — honestly disappointed.

For the Tri-County area, approximately 30 percent of registered voters bothered to show up for the election.

Thirty percent.

That’s embarrassing.

That’s pitiful.

And I daresay, that’s just plain lazy.

I hear and overhear so many complaints about how government operates from federal to local officials — but yet only 30 percent of the people are participating in the decision-making process.

Why so few?

It isn’t like the stabilized litter of campaign signs splattered all over creation didn’t give folks a clue — signs bearing “elect” and “re-elect” and “help to elect” have dotted the landscape since January. And in some races, they’ll remain planted along our roadways for the November general election.

And I would guess that even then, turnout will be disappointingly low — probably even lower than it was this week.

Of course, I think back to the last two presidential races — both of which had an approximate 50 percent turnout.

That means roughly half the country’s registered voters showed up at the polls — how many unregistered and non-voting citizens do we have? The number would probably shock those of us who are concerned enough to at least spend 10 minutes casting a ballot.

So that means approximately 25-28 percent of the country’s voting population dared to cast ballots for current President Barack Obama.

That number is surprisingly small.

I can’t figure out the answer — voter apathy is a disease that has quietly spread to all corners of American society, from rich to poor, young and old, black and white. It’s a disease that’s putting a serious stranglehold on our beloved country and limiting us coming together as a unified collection of 50 states.

In these modern times it appears every interest group, religious group, minority group and others have been placed in positions of defense for one reason or another. Our country is so divided amongst itself it makes me wonder who plans to conquer us — “divide and conquer,” isn’t that what Philip II of Macedon said during his reign from 382-336 BC? The strategy worked then, it worked for Nazi Germany, and with our current societal expectations and political correctness issues, it makes me wonder just who it’s working for now.

If we, as individuals and as a society, began to place more importance on the issue of voting, perhaps we could begin to erode some of the corruption that everyone seems to want to complain about in our government workings. And in that process of voting, if we included just a smidgen of self-education and learned for whom we were casting ballots, we might get leaders in place who are true representatives of the majority of the population, rather than representatives from less than half of one small part of the population.

Maybe Kentucky needs to follow Tennessee’s example and consider instituting “early voting.” For a certain number of days preceding the primary or general elections, Tennessee voters have the opportunity to arrive a week or two early to cast their ballots for the election.

It certainly has the potential of drawing more voters to the polls, especially if those interested have some time to schedule voting among the daily errands of work, home and family.

It’s high time more of our citizenry take interest. It’s easy. Get registered. Get active. Get voting.

Or get conquered.

John Ross is a staff writer for the Times-Tribune. He can be reached at

Text Only
  • LIKE IT OR NOT: MLB's All Star effort was a bust

    With the 85th edition of Major League Baseball’s All-Star game in the books, I have to say I feel like the whole thing was a complete bust.

    July 18, 2014

  • THE WAY IT IS: Some local teams can make a run

    Well folks, our Little League All-Star action is beginning to wind down, and I’ve been fortunate enough to see two of the Tri-County’s resp

    July 17, 2014

  • LIKE IT OR NOT: It's been a very busy summer

    While a lot of people would expect the local sports scene to slow down in the Tri-County in the summer time, that’s not usually the case for us here at the Times-Tribune.

    July 16, 2014

  • John Ross.jpg May we all cherish those few WWII vets who still live

    I watch this old BBC program pretty often called “Are You Being Served?” It’s mostly out of syndication — what shows remain can be seen most often through PBS.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0502 Bobbie Poynter So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, adieu

    I never have been very good at saying goodbye — family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, community — for years you’ve had my back and in turn, I believe I’ve had yours.

    July 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ronnie Ellis.jpg ‘Uh hummm!’ It’s been an interesting week

    One column can’t cover everything from a busy week of political events, but here are some quick takeaways from last week.

    July 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brad Hall.jpg Let’s multiply our numbers like fleas do

    Last Saturday, my wife, Carmen, and I spent the day at the Kings Island theme park near Cincinnati, Ohio.

    July 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • John Burkhart.jpg Not an earthly trace

    Just married (1897) and in his late 20’s, my grandfather was determined to make a living on a hillside farm covered in wilderness; much as his father had done before him in 1846  when he arrived from Germany.

    July 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brad Hall.jpg Col. Mustard with the candlestick in Heaven

    One of my favorite movies is the murder mystery comedy “Clue,” which is based on the popular board game of the same name.

    June 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • John Burkhart.jpg Now or Never

    A story is told of an old widower who decided it was time to find a new wife. He chose to look for this new bride through the obituaries column; identifying new widows.

    June 30, 2014 1 Photo

Front page
Featured Ads
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide