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A sparse election

Congratulations to Marion Mayor Jess Alumbaugh and to City Council Member Dave Homer in their convincing victories among those who voted in the primary election Tuesday and in the weeks leading up to Election Day.

We also offer our thanks to those who did not win Tuesday. We appreciate those who submit themselves to the often thankless job of being a political candidate at the local level. The ideas and efforts of those not elected can and do have a positive impact on the community.

But the low turnout was disappointing. More than 3,000 people took the time to vote in the primary across Marion, Jonesboro and Fairmount. That is about the attendance one would expect at a minor league ball game, Single A, deciding the leadership of three communities.

That’s a shame. The 15.5 percent turnout was a sad statement about the degree to which residents are choosing to be part of the solutions in our community. We are not among those who think everyone should vote. But we do think that the decision not to vote should be for a reason. If just over 84 percent of the people who at least cared enough to be registered at some point didn’t show up for the primaries, what does that tell us about our communities and what our local leadership is offering?

We need more. More leadership and more choices. There are others who are well qualified to campaign and hold public office in our communities. We need you in and for our future.