Taking advantage of liberty

Published 2:12 pm Thursday, October 22, 2015

Only about 25 people showed up for a recent board of supervisors candidates’ forum sponsored by the Buckingham County Farm Bureau.

Keep in mind that number doesn’t count the 11 candidates who sat on stage, answering questions and presenting their views on issues that directly impact all 17,000-plus people who live in Buckingham, such as the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a meals tax, the county’s school division and land use taxation.

A majority of the board seats up for grabs are contested this year — a sign of a healthy democracy.

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As the candidates sat on the stage looking out to the people sitting few and far between, they saw a sign of an unhealthy democracy.

According to the Buckingham County Registrar’s Office, over 9,800 people are registered to vote in the county.

The roughly 25 people who showed up at the high school auditorium last Saturday represented about 0.15 percent of the population of Buckingham. They also represented 0.26 percent of the county’s voting population.

The turnout was simply abysmal.

The men and women of our armed forces and our veterans fought hard to ensure that we have the right to seek office, to question candidates and attend forums like this without fear of reprisal.

That liberty was taken advantage of Saturday at the forum.

I certainly hope, for the sake of the entire county, that more people will turn out to vote on Election Day.

Jordan Miles is the managing editor of Farmville Newsmedia, LLC. His email address is jordan.miles@farmvilleherald.com.