Scot Tygart, Minot
Sunday, Dad's Day, the editor wrote that only 25 percent of Ward County voters bothered themselves to get out and vote for our representatives and several critical measures on the North Dakota primary ballot. I had feared that this would be the case after witnessing how very few voted on previous measures from the summer before.
On Tuesday when I voted I can confirm seeing very few young voters and for that matter very few voters under the age of 50 who bothered to exercise the most basic right they have, and that is the right to vote. But being that it is a right to vote also means that you have the right not to vote as 75 percent of the eligible electorate chose not to do in Ward County. I take this matter up simply because last summer a city measure allowed the City of Minot to divert an expiring tax, and I say it again, an expiring tax from NAWS to fund other initiatives was passed with only about 3,500 people total voting on the measure and now the voters of Minot and the county have again chosen not to vote. Lasts summer's vote prevented taxes in the city from going down and are now extended another 10 years. That's correct, another 10 years.
I go further by saying those who chose not to vote had a negative impact on the issue concerning Measure 2 as well. I read an article previous to Tuesday's vote where a person opined that we have a different brand of democracy in North Dakota that allows for North Dakotans to have an actual voice more so than in other states. Well, here's my opinion about that when 75 percent of a state's population chooses not to vote, that certainly is a different brand of democracy.
That's a brand of democracy that says people simply don't give a crap about what impacts their lives positively or negatively.
Each of you who failed to vote have impacted the entire state, the county and the city you live in that allows those in representative positions to always be assured that they can use a single class of voters to maintain the status quo, to never dispute the facts they tell, or ever vote them out of office where they impact our lives every day through spendthrift ideals and policy.
Doesn't that bother you? That's like a basketball team with 6.25 players against another with 3.75 players or a football team with 13.75 players on offense against another with 8.25 players on defense or one baseball team playing without an outfield.
North Dakota is the fourth least populated state in the United States with Montana, Wyoming and Hawaii following. Fewer than 650,000 people, yet North Dakota has the 14th highest property taxes in America and in the City of Minot you pay a higher sales and use tax than anywhere else in North Dakota, which is directly impacted by those of you who fail to participate in the representative government by voting, and not being interested in signature measures that could put your money back in your pockets. That's correct, money in your pocket.
The real shame in this is people around the world beg and die every day for the opportunity to vote, and in America, Americans take the absolute right to vote for granted. So, come November what are you going to do? Are you going to let the few, the 25 percenters, determine the course of your future or how your hard-earned dollars will be spent, or if you will even get to keep your paycheck?
Remember this: those who run in the political realm know who votes and who doesn't, and as such they will pander to those who do, to persuade them and only them, to determine how you will live.