The Times West Virginian


September 30, 2012

Will apathy again prevail in presidential election?

In 1968, seven out of 10 West Virginia voters headed to the polls to cast their vote in the race of Richard M. Nixon and Democratic challenger Hubert Humphrey. Sadly, that’s the last time a clear majority of voters in the Mountain State made it out to the polls to help select our nation’s president.

Since then, the average number of registered voters who have gone to cast a vote is pretty much one out of two, or 50.8 percent. When it comes to helping select the leader of the nation, only having half your voters come out and make their voices heard is a pretty low percentage. And let’s not even talk about primary or special elections, which hover in the mid to low 20 percent range on a good election.

So is it fears that the vote doesn’t really matter? That can account for low turnout in primary presidential elections. The West Virginia primary date is so late in the primary race that the “winner” has already been determined before we head to the polls.

So is it apathy? Maybe.

This is a tough election coming up in a little more than a month.

President Barack Obama has a very poor approval rating — even more so in the Mountain State where his energy policy isn’t really resonating with a population that comes from coal mining stock. But GOP contender Mitt Romney isn’t doing too hot, either. Unless races further down the ballot are important to voters, we could face another pretty low turnout of voters come Nov. 6.

Political gaffes, cameras hidden during private speeches and aired on social media, flip flopping on issues and mudslinging just wear voters down, too. And that doesn’t take attack ads into account. And talking heads and pundits.

And a pretty lousy state of affairs, which leads to something more than apathy. It leads to frustration and the feeling that things will never change, no matter which guy you vote for.

And that’s why it’s even more important for people to get out and vote, to make their voice heard. It is a very powerful tool during a time when many people feel powerless. Show your support or lack thereof. But show up.

And our readers agree. Last week, we asked about whether voters would still head to the polls on our own online poll, which can be found at The question was, “Voter apathy has been blamed for low voter turnout in the last several presidential elections. Where do you stand on going to the polls Nov. 6?”

And here are the results:

• I’m sick of it already. By Nov. 6, I’ll have no desire to cast a vote — 1.75 percent

• I’d be more apt to go if there was a “none-of-the-above” option — 10.53 percent

• I’m disappointed that no matter who I vote for, party leadership leads this country — 13.16 percent

• I believe in the power of my vote, and I will proudly cast it on Election Day — 74.56 percent

Now that’s a better voter turnout.

This week, let’s talk about school-age vaccinations, and how West Virginia is one of only two states that will not allow parents to opt out because of religious reasons if they want their child to attend public schools. Where do you stand with lawsuits across the state challenging the law?

Log on. Vote. Email me or respond directly online.

Misty Poe

Managing Editor



Text Only
  • Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely

    The days are long. The weather is superb. There’s plenty of leisure time in these lazy days of summer.
    It’s the perfect time to take a long motorcycle ride.
    It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to take the time to remind not only riders but drivers of the need to share the road. And we feel compelled to mention it because just within the month of July, there have been two motorcycle-versus-car accidents within the City of Fairmont alone — one with severe injuries sustained by the motorcyclist and the other with less serious injury.

    July 23, 2014

  • Too many taking too few steps to protect selves from skin cancer

    July 22, 2014

  • Distracted driving: It isn’t worth fine or a life

    Today marks the day that police agencies from six states are joining forces to crack down on one thing — distracted driving.
    And they will focus on that traffic violation for a solid week, with the stepped-up effort to curb distracted driving wrapping up on Saturday, July 26.

    July 20, 2014

  • COLUMN: Are we people watchers or people judgers?

    Let me tell you about my little friend Robby. Well, actually, it’s more about his family and especially his mom. I didn’t get her name. I heard Robby’s name quite a bit, though, during a trip home from Birmingham, Alabama.
    I noticed the family in the Birmingham airport immediately. They were just the kind of family you’d notice.

    July 20, 2014

  • Relish the rich bounty of state’s diverse, unique food traditions

    This week, a group of federal officials on a three-day culinary tour of the state visited the Greenbrier Valley to find out what most of us here already know — we have a rich food tradition in West Virginia.
    The group was made up of officials from the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    July 18, 2014

  • Soup Opera in need of your support again this time of year

    It’s happening again.
    It usually always happens about this time each year. Sometimes it’s a little earlier and sometimes a little later.
    But Soup Opera executive director Shelia Tennant knows it will come — usually in July. And she’s never that surprised about it.

    July 17, 2014

  • County honors men who gave all in helping their community

    The next time you’re driving in the Rivesville area, you might notice new signs on two of the area’s bridges.
    Those signs, which bear the names of Alex Angelino and Denzil O. Lockard, were unveiled Saturday in honor of the men whose names they display, two men who died while serving their communities.
    The bridge on U.S. 19 over Paw Paw Creek was named to honor Lockard, while the bridge on U.S. 19 over Pharaoh Run Creek was named to honor Angelino. Lockard, a former Rivesville police chief, died in 1958 at the age of 48 while directing traffic. Angelino, a Rivesville firefighter, died at the age of 43 of a heart attack while fighting a fire in 1966.

    July 16, 2014

  • State must learn to keep costs down and perform more efficiently on less

    The West Virginia state government began its budget year last Tuesday with a small surplus of $40 million — less than 1 percent of its annual tax revenues — thanks only to dipping into its savings.
    Let’s not do that again.

    July 15, 2014

  • Long-range vision with transportation has been made to be thing of proud past

    Last week’s closure of Fairmont’s Fourth Street Bridge is a symbol of a problem that must be fixed.
    The United States should be proud of the vision its leaders once displayed to address the country’s transportation needs.
    Back in 1954, for example, President Dwight D. Eisenhower announced his goal of an interstate highway system — something that transformed the country.

    July 13, 2014

  • COLUMN: Who would leave animal in sweltering car?

    I was standing and debating between two brands of a product in a big box store when I heard a call over the intercom:
    “Will the owner of a green Cavalier with a dog inside please report to the lawn and garden center.”
    I shook my head. I hate seeing dogs in cars waiting while their owners shop. About five minutes later, there was another announcement over the intercom.

    July 13, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Politics
House Ads