The citizens of Battle Ground could brag about the fact that out of a population of 22,000 residents, 11,616 of them are registered voters. However, that boasting would be an embarrassment given the fact that only 4,011 of them made the effort to return their ballot on Nov. 5.
Unofficial results show that each of the three city council positions on the ballot received less than a total of the 4,011 ballots cast for each position given the number of undervotes and write-ins in each race.
Now for the next four years Battle Ground residents will be governed by councilors who have been elected by a minority of registered voters by nothing that resembles a mandate or vote of confidence.
This is not true representative government when 7,808, or 65 percent, of registered voters in Battle Ground abdicated. In the words of Keith Ellison, “Not voting is not a protest. It is a surrender.” On Oct. 5, 1944, in a radio address, Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “Nobody will ever deprive the American people the right to vote except the American people themselves, and the only way they could do this is by not voting.”
Democracy works best when everyone votes.