Please stay home on August 19. On October 7, go hiking. When November 4 rolls around, watch a movie.
If fewer people vote, each vote matters more. We don’t think you need help to stay away from the polls — only 19.1 percent of registered Juneau voters showed up to last year’s municipal election — but just in case, stay home next election day.
It’s more important than ever that you do so, because this year you have the potential to turn not just Juneau or Alaska, but the entire United States.
You see, the U.S. Senate is pretty closely divided. There are 53 Democrats, 45 Republicans and two independents, both of whom side with Democrats on most issues.
This fall, 36 of those Senate seats are up for election. Twelve of those seats are going to go to Democratic candidates; 16 are going to Republicans (barring something happening to completely throw off the math, of course.)
Now, if you’ve followed our addition, that leaves eight seats that could go either way. Of those eight, four — Louisiana, Georgia, Arkansas and Kentucky — are leaning Republican. The remaining four — North Carolina, Iowa, Colorado and us here — are pretty much a coin flip at this point.
Campaigns and the candidates will decide those four races, and those four races may decide control of the Senate. With the House of Representatives firmly in control of the Republican Party, control of the Senate will decide control of Congress.
That makes Alaska’s voters the most important in the nation.