FOUR YEARS AGO, voter turnout in Anne Arundel was abysmal. Of 184,094 registered voters, 41 percent turned out for the primary.
No one expects the figure to improve much tomorrow, reflecting the general apathy of the American electorate. Only about half of the people old enough to vote in the county bother to register in the first place.
A closer look at the 1994 turnout is even more disturbing: Only about 22 percent of young adults, ages 18 to 35, who were registered to vote did so. People older than 35 cast 86 percent of all votes in the last primary.
The profile of the county's registered voters is not as old as LTC those who actually exercise their vote. Half of all residents registered are 25 to 50 years old. But because these younger voters don't turn out, politicians can ignore their wishes -- such as a well-funded education system for their school-aged children.
It is too late to register for tomorrow's primary, but those already registered should make every effort to participate. Others have until Oct. 5 to register for the Nov. 3 general election.
Otherwise, they'll have forfeited their say in choosing state and county elected officials for yet another four years.
Pub Date: 9/14/98