Lack of election candidates reflects recent voter apathy

Published 8:00 am Friday, April 22, 2016

It seems every time one of our local councils makes a decision, someone is up in arms about it.

In many cases, it is the same key players who continuously complain about the decisions made. These individuals take to social media airing their grievances, belittling the elected officials who voted to enact whatever policy has been enacted or struck down and in some cases suggest recall elections or request resignations.

These people seem to have no problem expressing their concerns for anyone with an internet connection to see, but when it comes to actually taking action to make a change, very few step up to the plate.

We’ve said time and time again that the voter apathy in our region is deplorable, but equally concerning is the lack of individuals willing to run for public office.

When the file deadline passed Tuesday, we were surprised to see how many seats in Berrien and Cass counties were uncontested. Niles voters who live in Berrien County will have less than five contested races to weigh in on in the primary, depending on which municipality they belong to.

Cass County is a little better with five out of seven commissioner candidates running opposed and three vying for sheriff, but we still could do better.

We understand serving in a public office is a daunting task and commend those who dedicate their time without much monetary compensation, but for all those concerned with the state of local government, we expected a lot more people to step up to the plate this election season.

If voters were consistently disinterested in the work happening in local government, maybe we could chalk up the lack of candidates to a general sense of apathy, but the real problem seems to be a lack of initiative.

This election season, we encourage you to prove us wrong. Research the candidates running for public office. Express your views in our newspaper. Put out a sign for those you support.

Get out and vote.

We can’t expect change if nobody wants to make it happen.


Opinions expressed are those of the editorial board consisting of Publisher Michael Caldwell and editors Ambrosia Neldon, Craig Haupert, Ted Yoakum and Scott Novak.