Westporters are not shy about making their views known.
Every day, the “06880” Comments section overflows with opinions. Readers weigh in on every local issue imaginable.
Long Lots Elementary School/Community Gardens/Babe Ruth baseball field. Parker Harding Plaza. Affordable housing. Traffic. The budget. Books in school libraries. Transparency in government. Baron’s South. The Hamlet at Saugatuck. Pickleball courts…
New pickleball courts are the purview of the Planning & Zoning Commission.
… that’s a broad variety of topics.
But all share one thing in common. At some point, at least one elected board or commission votes on them.
It’s one thing to vent your spleen on the Comments page of “06880.” Criticism (and praise) of public officials — nearly all of whom are volunteers — comes with the territory.
But here’s a sobering statistic: In the last municipal election, only 43% of Westport voters actually voted.
And that one included a hotly contested campaign for 1st selectperson.
In other words, fewer than half of eligible Westporters bothered to make a choice about who would serve on our Boards of Education and Finance, Planning & Zoning Commission, Representative Town Meeting and more.
Fewer than half of eligible Westporters could wear this sticker in 2021.
That doesn’t prevent everyone from chiming in with opinions on how well or (more likely) poorly they think those volunteers are doing.
Back in the 1960s — another fraught time, politically speaking — there was a saying: “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.”
It would be nice if we could say, “If you don’t vote, your opinion won’t count.”
We can’t say that.
But here’s what I will say: Today is Election Day. Your candidate(s) may not win.
But they have a lesser chance of winning if you don’t vote for them.
You may not like the results, or the decisions that follow. Go ahead and comment. It’s a free country. That’s what the “06880” Comments are for.
But if you don’t vote, shut the hell up. You’ve forfeited your right to complain.
Want to learn more about the candidates? Click here for the League of Women Voters’ guide.
Westport’s 5 polling locations for Tuesday’s elections are the same as last year:
- Districts 1 & 2: Saugatuck Elementary School
- Districts 3 & 8: Coleytown Middle School
- District 4 & 5: Greens Farms Elementary School
- Districts 6 & 7: Long Lots Elementary School
- District 9: Westport Library
Polls are open Tuesday (November 7) from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Unsure of your voting district? Check the map below, or click here.
Questions? Contact the registrars of voters: 203-341-1115.