Election Day for the 2022 primary has come and gone. In general, both the candidates and ballot proposals were plentiful but the voters were not. According to their respective clerks, just 33.45 percent of registered voters in St. Clair County and 32.83 percent of Lapeer County voters actually cast ballots last week.

Historically, turnout numbers are rather low in gubernatorial/midterm primary elections but locally, it felt as if the volume of contested races and critical funding questions, coupled with the still relatively new and more generous absentee voting rules, would have prompted more than just one-third of voters to actually participate.

It’s also the first major election since the 2020 general election that saw record voter turnout. Two years is a fair amount of time but one could have surmised that some eagerness lingered among those who went to the polls that November.

With turnout at just over one-third, it amounts to one out of every three voters in each county getting to decide what taxes they and two of their neighbors will or will not pay or what basic services they can or cannot rely on. Perhaps some residents are okay with that scenario if they trust their neighbor’s judgment but at this point in society, where personal freedoms are highly valued, it is surprising that so many voters would essentially relinquish those decisions to someone else.

Perhaps the numbers will be more robust this November in terms of voter engagement. In the state’s last midterms in 2018, voter turnout was the highest its been in 56 years, topping out at 58 percent in the general election.

Whatever the cause, voters shouldn’t be content with sitting on the sidelines when it comes to elections.