More is more
If you voted, thank you.
If you didn’t, well, you know … you’re probably not reading this anyway.
And, thanks to all four citizens who stood for this election, and congratulations to Mr. Musick. He will take a seat at the dais for about six months before he will need to stand for it again.
Sort of a probationary period. Might not be a bad idea for all elections.
A few observations about this one first. To begin with, it was one of the “smallest” elections in recent history and more “off-year” than almost any other. So, it was encouraging that it garnered as much attention as it did, and actually drew more voters to the runoff than to the general. This is noteworthy. Additionally, 77% of the ballots were mailed in.
Attention and coverage from LkldNow can take a bow for that we think. The Ledger certainly did not provide very much. It’s print edition ( yes, there still is one ) did not have the news on the morning after.
Dr. Terrell peppered Facebook with posts urging voters to the polls. Mr. Musick’s social media presence was more muted - in our newsfeed at least - but both of them used the medium successfully. This is the new normal, but it’s likely that the old normal - mailers and robocalls - held more sway.
Turnout was about 15 percent, about half of that for each candidate. 5,386 votes, of more than 68,000 registered voters, are Insufficient to amount to broad support for Mr. Musick or his point of view.
The hardest part of representing the citizenship is not representing those who voted for you, or even those who voted against you, but representing those who did not vote at all. Five thousand citizens favored Mr. Musick, but 58,000 didn’t bother to notice at all.
The term of office for the Lakeland City Commission is relatively brief and transitory, but our citizenship is permanent and must be tended to more regularly and effectively than we - the people - have accomplished so far.
However we might think “the system” has failed us, it’s time to acknowledge that the failure belongs to us. Voters. We make all the decisions. Let’s trust that this was a good one, but let’s not be satisfied to let so few of us decide.
The margin of victory was 146 votes.
More is better. Engage your citizenship. Share this with someone who didn’t vote. You probably have more Facebook friends than that.