Lack of candidates in primary troubling

The only thing worse than poor voter turnout is the lack of candidates filing.

There will only be two contested elections in the May 7 primary, both in Steubenville.

Steubenville could have had contested primaries for mayor, three council seats and municipal judge, but there will only be a contested Democratic primary in two races – council seats representing the 2nd and 6th Wards. The mayor’s race will be contested in the November general election.

There could have been eight contested primaries in Toronto and two contested races in Mingo Junction. Instead there will be none in either town.

Everyone must be completely satisfied with their elected officials in Steubenville, Toronto and Mingo Junction, or apathy reigns. It is more likely apathy.

Steubenville and Mingo Junction are facing dwindling budgets and cuts in employees and services. New faces and fresh ideas are needed to get both communities through these tough times. Instead, nearly all the same elected officials will be back come 2014 unless independent candidates file for election before primary election day.

It is difficult for a person to want to take on the job as an elected official with today’s economic and political environment.

Elected officials in Steubenville and Mingo Junction will face angry constituents when tough decisions need to be made concerning budget cuts that will result in layoffs and cuts in services to the public. These angry constituents will have their own ideas on how the budget or cuts should be handled. If they are so adamant about their ideas, why don’t they run for office?

The ballot in November will feature races for township and village offices.

Hopefully there will be more candidates who file for those grassroots seats.

Ask yourself if you are satisfied with how your village or township is being run. If the answer is “no,” please consider filing for one of those seats so you can make a difference.

There is no doubt there will be a low voter turnout come Election Day on May 7. The reason is simple – there just isn’t any decision to be made when there are so many uncontested elections.

School and municipal levies will bring some people out to the polls but the turnout will still be low.

It appears democracy is struggling in the greatest democratic society in the world.