Malaise a danger to local elections

The turnout for Tuesday’s election was abysmal, as expected, with fewer than a third of the eligible voters turning out.

It was a quiet election season in that there wasn’t a barrage of big-money negative advertising from the national parties and the political action committees because there was no big election with national implications taking place.

And, although people seem to be angry over the bombardment with political ads that takes place during the congressional and presidential election cycles, the sad fact appears to be that the ads do, at the very least, remind people there is an election going on.

And, while we’re happy the JVS levy passed, we’re upset that the Edison levy failed by a little more than 20 votes. Is it possible that a few more interested members of the electorate might have made a difference?

And in Steubenville, while the candidate the newspaper endorsed won for mayor, we cannot help but wonder about the impact of the election.

Mayor Domenick Mucci won re-election to a sixth term but was favored by a maximum of about 10 percent of the population, assuming Steubenville still has at least 14,000 citizens. It explains why people feel free to complain about the government, but we’d note that there were alternatives to the mayor on the ballot, and they faced dismal numbers, too. Had either man campaigned just a little more or spent a little more of the last four years becoming more well versed in issues ranging from paving programs to parks to port authorities, the tiny turnout could have easily swung in their favor.

Malaise is understandable in a country that seems to be faced with insurmountable problems from the federal level to the local level, with a national government that is polarized to the point of dysfunctionality.

But at the local level, during an off-year election, the votes count just as much as they do for the big-money, big-negative campaign national elections.

People say they hate all the negativity and big money spent on national campaigns and state campaigns, but they respond at the polls during those elections.