Sure, the presidential primary election was nothing to be concerned about with both major parties having selected their candidates weeks ago (Democrats had no choice other than President Barack Obama, and Republicans settled for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney). But, what happened to California voters last Tuesday?
The answer should be of major concern to both political parties, and voters themselves. About one in four voters in the state showed up to cast a ballot. That means that 25 percent of the electorate determined a change in term limits for state lawmakers, and a possible $1-a-pack tax on cigarettes (that measure is losing by less than 1 percent).
Fresno County voters were invisible, with about 20 percent bothering to exercise their right. Voters in other parts of the Valley were just a little more visible, but trailed the state turnout of 25 percent.
A democracy cannot survive when three out of every four voters refuse to get involved. They could have made the difference in several tight contests. Latinos, now the majority of residents in five California counties (Merced, Madera, Fresno, Tulare and Kings), must make voting a priority. They must be active participants in our system of governance.
Pickets, marches and demonstrations draw attention, but they matter nothing if those aren't converted into votes.
Voters, you have less than five months to get ready to vote. Your vote does count.