Pardon us for again getting on our soapbox about the importance of voting.
The initial race in a special election to fill the Abbeville City Council seat made vacant with the death of Gus Wilson had a shameful turnout. Of the 403 eligible voters in that seat’s district, only 89 cast ballots. In an editorial following that election, we referred to the turnout as abysmal. That election, conducted two weeks ago, pitted three candidates against each other in seeking voters’ support. It also resulted in the need for a runoff election, which took place Tuesday.
Perhaps we should applaud the fact that in this instance turnout was, in fact, better. The runoff brought 117 eligible voters to the polls. Unfortunately, however, the race ended with a single-vote difference, with Louise Aikens garnering 59 votes to Bartavia Hill’s 58.
Of course, that necessitated a recount before Friday’s certification of the election’s outcome.
We know people are busy. We know school is out for the summer and parents still have to work while balancing what to do with their kids. We know there are any number of excuses — not reasons, readers, but excuses — given for not finding a few minutes within the 12-hour window allowed for voters to cast their ballots. But look what this has caused? And what does it tell the candidates who apparently want to work on behalf of the voters in that district? That their service doesn’t matter?
Vote. It’s your right. It’s your privilege. It’s your duty.