Why I don’t vote in village elections

It just occurred to me that in the 10 years that I have been living in Howard County I have never voted in my village elections. And in the 10 years that I have lived in Dorsey’s Search I have never paid attention to the elections. And for the 10th year in a row, I’m not voting in tomorrow’s elections. There are three reasons why I make/made this decision.

1. I like things the way they are. Maybe I just don’t pay attention enough but I’m fine with the village as it is. The village center is fine and has my most basic needs covered (groceries, pharmacy, dry cleaners, banking, sushi, post office via Parcel Plus). If I don’t get what I want here I will go somewhere else. Long Gate is just a hop, skip, and jump in the other direction. It’s not a problem. The playground could use some updating but it’s still very useful. The pool is being renovated after a long period of waiting. The walking paths are fine and well maintained. Most of the residents here keep their property looking good and abide by the village guidelines. We’ve got curb appeal over here!!!  The Linden Hall staff is very nice. I have no beef with anything. I know, I know. You should vote to keep things stable. Well it would take a helluva lot of work to undo this village so I am not concerned.

2. The board isn’t me. Have you ever taken a look at who sits on the board of directors for Columbia Association? I have and I immediately tune out. I mean no disrespect when I say that. Just telling you what I see as an average, working mother of two. The B.O.D. doesn’t look like people I could relate to in my opinion. They’re predominately White. Only 20% of them are  female. And most of them (not all) look to be in their 50s or older. Does that really represent me? I have two children in elementary and middle school. My husband and I work full time outside of the county. One of my children has special needs. I have not one but two careers to maintain. I am physically and socially active. And I have chronic insomnia which steals a bit of my energy daily. I’m sure I have something in common with each member of that board and they could probably connect with my life on some level but eh I’m ok if we can’t find common ground (again no disrespect intended). Why don’t I run for a seat to add some diversity to the board? Reread this paragraph to find the answer.

3. Village rules and regulations don’t interfere with my pursuit of happiness. Let’s be honest. They’re not rewriting the US Constitution at those meetings. I care about my children’s education, gender and racial discrimination, health, Autism, preventing families from qualifying for TANF, my careers, my hair, Facebook, and running. None of that is handled at Linden Hall on Thursday nights. I could not care less if Mrs. Smith wants to add a basketball hoop to her garage.

Apparently I’m not alone in my thoughts. Voter turnout here is traditionally low. In the 2011 elections, less than 150 people voted in the village elections. There are 7,500 residents between Dorsey’s Hall and Fairway Hills.

Good luck to the candidates running tomorrow. I will conduct business as usual over here and hope for the best. Sorry not sorry.


8 thoughts on “Why I don’t vote in village elections

  1. I have voted in every Village election for which I was an eligible voter. I too am a working mom of color, with two children, one of whom has special needs. That’s exactly why I vote (and serve). Someone has to stand up and make sure that young families are listened to, someone has to stand up and make sure that plans for the community recognize that not every family has a SAHM, and someone needs to stand up for kids who are different and need to be included in a world that doesn’t even realize they exist.

    I could list the long list of reasons why the CA Board and the Village Boards matter, but I suspect they are well known and they are listed on a bunch of other blogs (http://www.hocorising.com/ and http://villagegreentownsquared.blogspot.com/ for starters). I vote for the community of today, and the community of tomorrow. I vote because I owe it to everyone who served and voted before me to give me access to an amazing community to grow up in, and an amazing community to live in as an adult and raise children in. I vote because I want my kids to be able to have access to an excellent community to come back to as adults, and hopefully my own grandkids can grow up in the awesomeness that is Columbia and Howard County.

  2. It would take very little for a direct impact on life. First, the CA and Village Boards can quickly decimate property values. Second, there’s already a massive fight ongoing to keep amenities for children and families – without young families voting, playgrounds and pools will shutter. We’ve been on the brink so many times already. Third, a dysfunctional CA can and will limit or eliminate services and programs, can eliminate before and after school care, can reduce camp and class availability, and can absolutely destroy major public works and development projects in Downtown.

  3. I think this sums it up for many non-voters. Apathy; lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern. Origin: early 17th century: from French apathie, via Latin from Greek apatheia, from apathēs ‘without feeling,’ from a- ‘without’ + pathos ‘suffering.’

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