June 4th was the Republican primary election in South Dakota. Three election workers were hired and paid hourly to sit at a polling location that only one individual would show up at in Harrold over the entire course of the day. Only 13 voters turned up at the Blunt location. These examples are not one-offs, but representative of the abysmal voter turnout across the state from last week’s primary. Some races were decided by only 4 votes.

Our goal is not to condemn anyone who couldn’t make it to the voting booth last Tuesday, but rather to encourage you when it’s tempting to sit back on election day and wonder “Does my vote really matter? Is it worth carving out time in my busy schedule?” The answer is a resounding yes. Take a look at these numbers:

  • District 4 Senate race was decided by 64 votes
  • District 21 Senate race was decided by 48 votes
  • District 34 Senate race was decided by 34 votes
  • District 5 House race, the third place candidate was 21 votes away from winning a seat
  • District 11 House race, the third place candidate was 10 votes away from winning a seat

Your vote has power. Your voice matters. This was not an election that garnered hundreds of thousands of votes, which would have made each vote seem a bit insignificant in the larger picture. In some of these races, the votes from one family or group of friends could have completely altered the results. Voting is a practical and necessary way to make a difference in your community.

If we are to be good stewards of the blessing we have been given, if we truly want to see our communities thrive, we must continue to show up to the polls! We have a republican form of government which enables us to choose our leaders, and it’s imperative that we continue standing up to support them.