The City of Niagara Falls faces many problems such as high crime, poverty, issues with city government, lack of development and a financial crisis.
I have often heard residents complain about all the problems here. With so many issues facing our city, one problem that has occurred for a long time and often goes unnoticed is our low voter turn-outs. I believe that one of the major factors for Niagara Falls to make a comeback is for our city residents to be more involved in city politics, and exercise their right to vote.
Within the last several years, many elections have been decided by small margins. In the last voter primary on 9/12/2017, six candidates were chosen to represent the Democratic and Republican parties. Voters of both parties had to select three individuals to represent their political party. Voter turnout was very low, with primary seats being determined by a few hundred votes or less. This seems to be the ongoing trend in Niagara Falls.
With so many hot button issues, especially with the financial crisis, it;s absolutely critical that we exercise our right to vote. There are well over 20,000 eligible voters in Niagara Falls, yet our voter turnout is less than 50%.
The City Council approves the budget, and how our city spends its funds. I’ve heard many times how people have complained, saying that their vote doesn’t matter or count or feel the political process is rigged, so they don’t vote. So why won’t folks turn out to vote to determine the representatives for three major positions in our city government?
People constantly say that we need a change in city politics in order to make progress. Had more people voted, the results could have been different. How can we expect change, when several thousand eligible voters don’t vote?
Sure, some people may not be able to vote due to illness, a disability, a busy work schedule, or some extraordinary circumstance. However, most people could make it to the polls during the 12:00 pm to 9:00 pm time frame, yet many of them don’t vote. It almost seems like some people avoid voting like a military draft, or jury duty. I’m willing to bet, that if someone offered $100 for every vote cast, or if the item being voted upon was an important issue like a city wide property reassessment, voting stations would be packed.
The City Council election will be on Tuesday, November 7th, in which three representatives will be selected to represent us for the next four years.
With so much at stake, I encourage our city residents more than ever to do your research on candidates, and cast your votes. As long as the majority of people don’t exercise their right to vote, the course that the city of Niagara Falls takes will be determined by the few that do.
We all love Niagara Falls, and would like to see our city get the representation it deserves, and become the wonderful place it was meant to be. Again, I urge everyone to make voting a priority. Carefully consider the candidates, and make a choice who you think would have Niagara Falls’ best interests in mind. Together, we can make a difference.