As though it really matters, the results are in and they were as expected:
I do find it interesting that you had over 10% write-in votes in each ward. Each Ward saw more than 100 right-in votes. Compare that to 2009, when there were 86 in the Mayor race, 50 in Alder Fox's race, 9 in the Hoyle-Guess race, and 4 in the Patton-Hipps race. And this was even though the turnout was 2.3 times what it was yesterday. In 2009 there was only a 8.5% turnout, but yesterday it dropped to a little over 4%. That means that 1 out of 25 people who are registered to vote in Hickory, even bothered to vote.
I think that those numbers show that people want a choice. The empirical evidence shows that.people want a choice and they want a debate. In 2007, there was a strong challenge in Ward 1 and you had over 3,600 people who voted in that election. And that vote total, available for all to see at the Catawba County Board of Elections, shows that in the unopposed Ward 2 race only 2,900 people voted. Hmmm... that sure is curious, isn't it? People want a choice and many people don't care about what is going on in other wards and they don't bother to even check a box that doesn't represent themselves. In my opinion, this shows that the system does not work and things are getting worse, not better.
When will people see that we have a problem here? What will it take? Is it going to have to be the dire circumstances of complete collapse as Harry has talked about? We are squandering our birthright.
Is Democracy important to you? Look!!! We don't have it on the local level. Without an open system and choices, we will eventually lose all of our freedom and liberty.
How can Democracy in Hickory be saved? How can we revitalize the overwhelming feeling of apathy toward City politics? How do we inspire buy-in and get people to realize that we are supposed to be a government of, by, and for the people. It is your responsibility to participate.
The solutions are right in front of you. We have introduced a petition to bring back ward specific voting and let each ward choose their representative. That is what we used to have in Hickory and it worked for nearly the first 100 years. You have that system in the School Board races, why not City Council. You have Alders on the City Council who don't even represent their ward's interest. They represent the people from where the votes come. I will point blank show you this.
The line has been drawn and it will soon be up to the “public” (you) to choose whether to be part of the solution (sign the petition and allow the people to vote on this issue) or part of the problem (status quo); that stench of apathy, that you can't find where it is coming from, which is right under your noses, and where we are today.