Thursday, 22 May 2014 00:00
Citizens of a certain sarcastic mindset tend to view national elections as the bad punchline to an ill-timed and poorly-worded joke. These non-voting John and Jane Q. Publics believe winners and losers are decided long before the election in a back room somewhere down a dank alleyway.
This very well might be true. And even if it isn’t, the prevailing thought is that those who are elected usually pander to the special interest groups and lobbyists who made their election possible. It is enough to make any voter think twice about taking the walk of shame to and from the voting booth. It comes closer to home than national elections for some voters, as local elections can leave an acrid aftertaste as well.
However, abject nihilism aside, Long Islanders recently had an opportunity to participate in a vote where their direct involvement bears great significance: the school budget vote. In this annual event, residents across the island help turn the gears of their local school district and decide as a collective unit whether or not to pass the school budget.
In this country, citizens can choose to participate in an election or sit back and let it unfold while their eyes roll to the back of their skull. History shows that turnout for local elections is low, but hopefully Long Islanders flexed some local muscle this year and voted one way or another.