For the "if you build it, they will come" file:
Voter registration ended Monday and while the numbers are still being tallied, there are clear signs that registration in the Hoosier state is way up.
[. . .]
Thousands of Hoosiers are taking the steps necessary to make sure they can vote in the May 6 primary. In Marion County the numbers are huge.
How many opinion pieces have been written decrying voter apathy in this country? Geez, how many have I written? But people will vote when they are convinced there is a reason for it, that there is a connection between their participation in the process and what happens to them based on who is elected. This is a mature republic, which means there is an entrenched bureaucracy that just keeps going on, no matter which politician wins the popular vote. People aren't stupid -- they understand that.
People are registering in droves this year because "Indiana matters" for a change -- despite our late primary, the Democratic presidential nominee might actually be decided based partly on our votes. That's history in the making, so people want to be a part of it. But it does not mean -- pardon me if this sounds cynical -- that we have suddenly rediscovered the importance of participatory democracy. Check out how many people vote in the Republicah primary for County Council, the most contested raced on the ballot and the outcome of which will affect us all on a personal, local level for the next four years.