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EDITORIAL: Vote!

VOTE!

Election Day, Tuesday, November 4, is your opportunity to participate in our great democracy, and make your choice as to who you want to represent you.

This year, the elections include governor and lieutenant governor, state comptroller, state attorney general, and all members of the House of Representatives, and the state Assembly and Senate.

Unfortunately, however, every year, too many citizens don’t cast ballots. This past Primary Day, only about 10 percent of eligible voters bothered to go to the polls, despite the fact that, in much of New York City, Primary Day is when many local races are actually decided.

The turnout for the general election, while substantially larger, is still unlikely to break 50 percent of registered voters, which is truly a shame.

As a result, just a few people decide who is going to represent them.

Democracy is weakened when citizens don’t bother to participate.

It’s also weakened when you have races in which the incumbent is running unopposed.

There are six of those in Brooklyn, this year – three for State Senate and three for Assembly.

There are a number of reasons for this.

Voter apathy is certainly one. In addition, it’s hard to find someone to run for office when he or she is up against a strong incumbent who is extremely unlikely to be defeated in a district that may well have been drawn to ensure that incumbent’s re-election, and political parties are also unlikely to spend them on races they know they are going to lose.

If more citizens educated themselves about the candidates and the issues, and bothered to vote, politicians would have to pay more attention, and maybe we would actually see more competitive elections, as well as an increase in the number of elected officials who prioritize their constituents’ needs.

That could also mean that districts that have been underserved would suddenly get their fair share of resources.

The squeaky wheel is the one that gets the grease.

But it all starts on Election Day, with voters – lots of voters – heading to the polls to make their preferences known.

Let’s show that Brooklyn voters do care, and do want to be counted.

Election Day is November 4.

Please go vote.

RECOVERING SLOWLY

Two years on from the devastation wrought by Superstorm Sandy, there is some reason for optimism.  Yes, there are many people whose homes have yet to be rebuilt and there are many problems with the infrastructure in parts of Brooklyn.  But there is progress being made.  And there seems to be a new openness about the process, which is, let’s face it, something new and refreshing.

We sympathize with the hardship and frustration of the homeowners and we hope the progress continues – and speeds up.

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