I may be biased, but I believe that local government is the most important form of government, and has the biggest impact on your daily life.
We pick up your trash. We make sure you have running water through your pipes. When you are sick or hurt we pick you up and care for you.
We recruit businesses to the area to create more jobs. We create a vision for the type of community we want to be for years to come and actively work toward making that vision a reality. You deal with us every day, multiple times a day, even if you don’t realize it.
Recently, we saw a spike in local government engagement during the events surrounding the selection of a new Wicomico County Executive. For a few weeks this was all anyone could talk about, but I fear that by November 2020, November 2022 or November 2023 that will all be a distant memory.
Why do I believe the memory of these events will fade away?
Because our track record, when it comes to voter participation, speaks for itself.
In the 2015 Salisbury city election, 12.05 percent (1,621 voters) of those registered to vote (13,455 registered) came out on Election Day.
In the 2019 city election, only 17.64 percent (2,899) of registered voters cast ballots.
While the 2019 numbers vs. 2015 are almost a 100 percent increase, a 17 percent voter turnout is pretty dismal.
In the 2018 county elections, which was also the Maryland gubernatorial election, 33,444 out of approximately 103,000 county residents voted -- and 61,443 county residents were registered to vote.
So what are some things we can all do?
No matter who you believe should be your next elected officials you need to make your voice heard. Show up. Stand up. Speak up.
Julia Glanz is Salisbury’s City Administrator.