By John Peters
October 17, 2013
It is difficult to try to convince people to vote in an election when two of the three seats are unopposed, and the incumbent in that one contested race garnered more than 85 percent of the ballots during a three-way primary just a week ago.
But that is exactly what we hope to do.
Early voting begins today for Mount Airy elections. Mayor Deborah Cochran and North Ward Commissioner Jon Cawley are running unopposed, and incumbent Steve Yokeley is squaring off against Jimmy D. Mitchell. In the Oct. 8 primary held to whittle that field from three to two candidates, Yokeley recorded 85 percent of the vote to Mitchell’s 10 percent. Jerry Byrd was eliminated from that race after getting about 5 percent of the vote.
It is all too easy for voters to simply ignore the race, to say that no opposition shows city residents are overwhelmingly pleased with the jobs done by Cochran and Cawley, and to come to the same conclusion about Yokeley given his primary totals.
That may well be the case. Never-the-less, if there is one major flaw in the American system of government, it is that those in power seem to do whatever it is they feel like doing, regardless of whether that action serves those they represent, simply because they know most voters are too lazy to do anything about it.
That is not the case with the city commission. These folks, by and large, are on this board because they want to serve fellow city residents and they do tend to be responsive to their constituents.
Still, we hope city residents will send a message that in the end, we as a society get what we deserve in our leadership. Show up to the polls, cast a ballot, even in the races with just a single candidate, and let’s hope others will notice that Mount Airy voters take this responsibility seriously.
Who knows, maybe such an example can spur others to do the same and, eventually, we send representatives to Raleigh and Washington who care about governing and not about political pandering.