Recently, I took advantage of a volunteer opportunity to get involved politically here in Toledo. I have never been one to share my political views publicly, and I am not even from this city, but I decided to take the position as a volunteer.
I have lived in Toledo for the better part of four years and have been exposed to many good people while here. Through this time, I have developed a sense of what this city has to offer, as well as the challenges Toledo faces.
It was the challenges that made me want to get involved, and I decided to support a candidate whose vision for the city aligned similar to my own.
I spent time after work and class driving to the campaign headquarters to make phone calls and distribute literature. During this time, I met volunteers who were ready to see the city turn the corner with new leadership in office.
Volunteers were diverse; some had lived in Toledo for a few decades, and others were lifelong residents. Many of those volunteers had worked much longer on the campaign than I, but we all shared the goal of getting our candidate elected into office.
Last Tuesday was primary Election Day. The top two candidates would go on to the general election in November. It was an exciting day.
I left work that day at 5 p.m., eager to vote. After I cast my ballot, I hopped back in my car and headed straight to the campaign office to make phone calls, urging people to get out and vote before the polls closed at 7:30 p.m.
After the polls closed, it was time to reflect on the hard work we had all put in and wait for the results to come. Our candidate, whom we had all campaigned hard for, was there to thank us for our efforts and wait for the results to come in as well.
We began the night optimistic, but things took a turn south when the number rolling in on the TV screen showed we were down and unlikely to win with the remaining votes.
It was disappointing; I felt like someone punched me in the stomach. Questions flooded my head wondering how we lost.
Then it became clear when our candidate stated that there was a lower-than-expected turnout at the polls: 13 percent of registered voters, according to the board of elections.
After the results came in, myself and a fellow volunteer headed out to a bar for a drink while we watched the Cleveland Indians win on TV.
At the bar, we discussed what went wrong, but we both knew it was the fact that not enough citizens showed up at the polls to vote.
Thirteen percent is not even close to the majority. I understand that this was not the primary election, but no matter who you hope to see represent your city, the primary election is equally as important.
We need to remember that, as citizens, it is our civic duty and right to vote. A ballot not cast is a silent citizen.
The silent citizens must speak out with their vote before they wake up one morning in a city they do not recognize anymore.
It is time for everyone to get informed and get involved so that we can all do better in Toledo.
Maybe add a little bit about what those views are.