In the 2008 presidential election, only 65 percent of registered voters went to the polls in Fulton County and only 62 percent cast votes in Montgomery County.
Believe it or not, the local turnout in that election was better than it is in most elections. Will the turnout Tuesday exceed that of the last presidential election? We sure hope so.
Local voters will have important decisions to make Tuesday. Not only will they be deciding the next president, but also the winners of local races.
In Gloversville, people will vote in one of the most hotly contested judicial races we've seen in years. Traci DiMezza, who won the Republican primary, is running against John Clo, who was appointed City Court judge late last year.
In Montgomery County, voters will decide whether to approve a new charter that would change the form of government there. The charter calls for a county legislature and executive.
Meanwhile, voters in Fulton, Montgomery and Hamilton counties will choose candidates for federal and state offices in newly reconfigured districts.
For example, voters will elect either Democrat Bill Owens or Republican Matt Doheny in the 21st Congressional District, which will include Fulton and Montgomery counties. Voters also will decide the congressional race between Democrat Paul Tonko and Republican Bob Dieterich in the 20th District, which will include a portion of Montgomery County; and the congressional race between Republican Chris Gibson and Democrat Julian Schreibman in the 19th District, which will include western Montgomery County.
In state legislative races of local interest, Republican state Sen. Hugh Farley faces a challenge from Democrat Madelyn Thorne; Republican state Assemblyman Marc Butler faces Democratic challenger Joseph Chilelli; Republican George Amedore and Democrat Cecilia Tkaczyk are running against each other for a state Senate seat; and Republican Tom Quackenbush and Democrat Angelo Santabarbara face each other in a race for state Assembly.
In addition, voters will choose four state Supreme Court justices.
These are only the highlights of Tuesday's local ballots. Obviously, there are many reasons to go to the polls.
Today, Fulton County has about 33,000 registered voters and Montgomery County has about 30,000 registered voters. Unfortunately, thousands more people in both counties could be registered voters, but they choose not to participate in the process. Fulton County has about 43,000 people ages 18 and older; and Montgomery County has about 38,000 people in that age group.
People who cherish democracy will register to vote and carry out their civic duty.