Future elections should also excite voters


One week has passed since Barack Obama became president-elect of the United States. During that week, pundits, papers and politicians have all commented on the significance of this election. And while the appointment of the country’s first African-American president will be noted in history books, there is another noteworthy milestone from this election.

Voter turnout finally increased.

On Nov. 6, CNN reported there were 31.7 million early votes. North Carolina saw a voter increase from 56.8 percent in 2004 to 69 percent, and voter registration overall increased by 10 million people.

In our own county, we saw 74.37 percent voter turnout. There were 60,718 citizens registered to vote and 45,153 ballots were counted, according to DeKalb County’s election Web site.

Congratulations to American voters for renewing their involvement in the democratic process. By exercising their right to choose their government, they demonstrated a desire for change and made it happen. Still, before the voting populace pats itself on the back, they should wait four years.

In four years, the country may not have a president with a terribly low approval rating. President George W. Bush will leave office during an unpopular war and an unstable economy. If Obama resolves those issues, will voters still rally to the polls? Motivation is easily found when problems

are obvious. Striving for change is harder when nothing seems broken.

Election time shouldn’t spark excitement only when times are tough or when candidates break social boundaries. Elections should always spark interest with voters.

Elected officials make the laws and policies that govern our country. Apathetic voters generate apathetic officials.