Last November, 15,223 Westporters went to the polls. That’s 83% of all registered town voters.
The year before, turnout was 6,306: just 37%.
The difference, of course, was that last year Barack Obama and Mitt Romney were on the ballot. In 2011, Westporters voted for candidates for the Boards of Education and Finance, and the Planning and Zoning Commission.
Not nearly as glamorous. But, one could argue, local elections affect us far more than national ones.
To amp up enthusiasm, the League of Women Voters has relaunched its My Town/My Vote campaign.
Through Back to School Nights, a Facebook page and a train station blitz, they tell Westporters that 1) there is an election soon, and 2) every vote counts.
Of course, voters need more info than a jillion road signs to make up their minds.
On Facebook (Westport: MyTown My Vote), the League has posted information on voter registration, polling places and absentee ballots.
This coming week, the League will post its annual Voters’ Guide (click here). Candidates for first and second selectman; the P&Z; Boards of Finance, Education and Assessment Appeals; the Zoning Board of Appeals — and all 47 candidates for the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) — will describe their approaches to land use, property taxes, schools, recreation, security, quality of life and more.
Copies will appear in Thursday’s Minuteman, and be available at the library, Senior Center and Town Hall. A MyTownMyVote team will hand out extra copies at the train station Friday morning.
The guide is the only election-related material that voters can bring with them to the polls on November 5.
Then again — despite the barrage of road signs, mailings and advertisements — it may be the only info anyone needs.