Exercising your right to vote Updated: Friday, November 8, 2013 KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Although there has been a lot said and written about Tuesday's elections--about the issues, about the candidates, about who won, the sad fact is that these matters are being decided by fewer and fewer voters almost every year.Tonight, in Tom's Corner, Tom Van Howe says it should be a high priority to find a way to reconnect voters to the ballot box.=====================It's a given that off-year elections don't have the sex appeal of a Presidential battle with Congressional seats at stake.But this is getting a little scary.In Kalamazoo: okay, the ballot was boring. But 13 percent? That's really all we care?In Jackson, election officials were pretty excited because 18 percent turned out to elect a Mayor and decriminalize marijuana.Six months from now when somebody who didn't vote starts complaining—and they will—you have the authority to turn your back or cover your ears. It's maddening.And its not just here. After 43 years of really horrible criminal leadership, the city of Detroit elected a new Mayor. Someone to lead them out of the quagmire of bankruptcy into a new day. Only one in four registered voters took the time. Twenty-five percent!And as dismal as that might seem, it's not that bad in comparison with other cities. New York City—22 percent. In 1950 it was 93 percent.Atlanta, 17 percent. Pittsburgh, 20 percent. Miami, a measly 11 percent. How low do we go before we just cancel them for lack of interest?In Virginia, where they actually elected a Governor, where the result was hailed as a victory over the tea party, only 37 percent bothered.A recent study on voter attitudes said they think their votes don't count, and that anyway they're just too busy or they just don't care.We are the United States of America. Millions of men have been wounded or killed in battle protecting our highly vaunted right to choose our own destiny. And we're too busy? We don't care? We're just too apathetic to take the time?Granted, voting can be inconvenient. But it ought to be considered an honor. True, some candidates are insufferable.But the only way to get them out is to vote them out. And to do that you have to get off your butt and cast your vote.For the record, annual turnout for nationwide elections in Demark is 85 percent. In the Netherlands it's 75 to 80 percent. In the UK it's 66 percent. And here in the United States, the best we can muster in even the most frenetic national election is 65 percent.So here's an idea.Our choice of a Tuesday in early November as Election Day came about roughly 170 years ago when farmers had harvested their crops, could go to church on Sunday, and then make the often day-long trip into the cities to cast their votes.It made sense then—but not anymore.So, how about a two or three-day Election Day holiday? Turn it into an event; a time for last minute debate.A time for celebrating what we do here; a time to allow no one an excuse for not getting down to the precinct and marking a ballot.We have to do something to reconnect with voters. Or we will become a government of, by, and for just a few of the people. We're on our way their now.In this corner...I'm Tom Van Howe.