By the time the Mountain Home News hits the streets Wednesday morning, stories regarding the outcome of the Super Tuesday races should already dominate the headlines of major networks.
At stake in Idaho were the state's 32 delegates, who will go on to submit their votes for the Republican presidential candidate. On the other side of the political arena, the Democratic Party is expected to fully endorse President Barack Obama in his quest for his second term of office.
For a select group of voters in Idaho, Super Tuesday marked a historic first for the state. In addition to joining nine other states hosting Republican caucuses that day, it was also the earliest that the state held this type of election.
Despite the significance of Super Tuesday, the question remains on how many people in Mountain Home and across Elmore County chose to participate in this political process. Statistically, this area seems to lack the political enthusiasm seen in other communities in other states.
Case in point: During the last city and county elections last November, voters in Mountain Home and Glenns Ferry cast just 1,315 ballots. They represented less than 5 percent of the county's total population.
In 2009, a school board election was settled with a toss of a coin when just 88 people in one of Mountain Home's election districts showed up at the polls. Less than two months later, local officials used the same process to resolve a three-way tie for a board position on one of the local sub water districts. While both elections were resolved in accordance with state law, the question remains why those elections were left to fate versus remaining in the hands of local voters.
In the aftermath of those elections, it also seemed there was a lot of finger pointing regarding the outcome of both elections. To an extent, it seemed some people here were not pleased that a toss of a coin decided something, regardless if they actually voted.
In less than two months, voters across the county will return to the polls for another primary election, this time to vote for people vying for two seats on the board of county commissioners and a precinct committee representative seat. In addition, the county sheriff and prosecutor are up for reelection.
Meanwhile, the Mountain Home School District will, in essence, ask voters to extend a supplemental levy approved in May 2010. Those funds will help the district maintain its existing academic and extracurricular programs and avert what some might consider a major funding crisis.
But only if it passes.
We can only hope elections like this show some signs of life and don't end up letting fate decide the future of our children's education and the direction of our county.
Regardless of where you stand on the issue or who you support on the ballot, it's important for people to take a few minutes out of their day and vote. Because if you don't exercise your right to vote, you really don't have the right to complain.
-- Brian S. Orban