EDITORIAL: Where are the voters?

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot

On Nov. 8, 1911 there was a great clamor in Greencastle as 35 citizens of the borough were disenfranchised. They didn’t get the opportunity to let their voice be heard in a local election. They were rightfully upset with the situation that was documented in the ensuing issue of the Echo Pilot:

“With the Greencastle election board on duty for 25 hours, 494 votes polled and 35 citizens deprived of their suffrage by reason of inability to secure voting accommodations prior to seven o’clock Tuesday evening, the necessity for having Greencastle divided into two election districts has become so apparent that steps will be taken at once to bring the matter to the attention of Judge Gillan and secure the appointment of viewers to divide the town, so that all voters may have ample accommodations and the election officers not  overburdened with work.”

We wonder if there would be such an outcry in 2011. Of course there would never be such a situation in Franklin County today where the election board so efficiently prepares and conducts elections. What is sad today is that not only do many citizens not register to vote, the turnout for any election where there is not a Presidential race is abysmal at best.

Greencastle-Antrim voters had important decisions to make about who would serve on the borough council, board of township supervisors and the school board. At the seven polling places in Greencastle and Antrim Township the voter turnout ranged from 24 percent to a paltry 13 percent.

Local elections are very important, but so far we see no sign that any judge will have to be summoned to create an additional polling place here. Unfortunately a hundred years later, we could probably make due with less.