June 9, 2013
For many people when they hear the word 'election,' it makes them think of the presidential election that comes every four years.
Virginia, however, has elections every year. The democratic primary election is on June 11 for statewide and local offices. For Charlottesville, it includes two seats on city council.
"I honestly didn't know about these primary elections at all," said Niral Patel, a Charlottesville resident.
Many others had similar responses about the election being on Tuesday. Either they had heard about it briefly, didn't know any candidates, or didn't know about it at all.
Patel says it's hard enough for people to keep up with national politics let alone focus on city council.
"Many people are selfish and are too wound up in their personal lives and trying to actually move forward and look at the bigger picture it's a bit too much for some people," he said. "And to be honest, it's too much for me, too. I have personal matters, school, work, parents to worry about."
Some say it's not because they're uneducated about the community and what's going on, but because they believe Charlottesville is a stable community and economy.
"I'm very confident in the economy here because we have very good tourism and the University and the hospital," said Uttam Kumar, a Charlottesville resident who says he's traveled all over the world. "The changing of local government does not change a lot and I'm not worried about it here. People do need to pay more attention to national politics."
For some people, no matter how small the race, they say voting is part of our democratic duty.
"The decisions they make in this coming election will affect them for years to come," said John Stoudt, a Charlottesville resident and member of the human rights commission. "So, I think they need to be involved and I think they need to get to the polls and have their say."
Charlottesville's June 11 ballot has a total of five different contests on it.