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Editorial: Seriously, you must vote

Rowan County voters have the chance to send a strong message on Tuesday, Primary Day, by turning out in force at the polls. This is a community that celebrates our freedoms. Be sure to exercise your right to vote.

An unscientific poll of the Post’s online readers found 77 percent planned to vote in this primary — 43 percent early and 34 percent on Primary Day.

We wish.

Only 17.9 percent of registered Rowan voters took part in the May 2014 primary, and this year’s turnout may be similar. It would take either a miracle or a hotly contested presidential race to get 77 percent of voters to the polls for a primary. The high number in this poll reflects the bias of the group, 503 people who read the Post online and are willing to take part in a poll. They’re keeping up with local news and expressing themselves — i.e., Most Likely to Vote.   

The other 23 percent, by the way, responded that they didn’t have enough information to vote, they didn’t vote in general or they didn’t know what a primary was.

It happens.

With low turnout expected, the people who do vote are all the more powerful; they vote for thousands more.

The Republican race for three slots on the Rowan County Board of Commissioners looms large in this primary. If you’re pleased with how things are going, you might be tempted to sit this one out. That would be a mistake. Only a heavy turnout from people who like the direction county government is moving in can prevent a quick about-face.

Whether you like the current board or think it’s time for a change, you’re letting someone else decide for you if you fail to vote. Candidates are politicking hard and working to get their supporters to the polls. Turnout is everything.

Get your vote out.

Salisbury voters also have a pivotal issue on the ballot —  a referendum on the city’s agreement to lease Fibrant to Hotwire Communications. This is the best solution City Council has found to the financial drain the fiber optic system created for the city. 

Important primaries for seats in Congress and the General Assembly are also on the ballot. Nearly every Rowan County voter has something to vote on in this primary. There’s no excuse for skipping the primary — and no do-over if things don’t go your way. The polls will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Don’t miss this opportunity.

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