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President's Message

November 2023

From the Business Perspective Newsletter

Each one counts

Twenty-five percent.

Seventeen percent.

Seventeen percent.

These percentages aren’t some fun sale to get you in the door. They’re the percentages for voter turnout in the most recent three local elections: November of 2021, 2019 and 2017. The “big” bump was for mayoral races in 2021.

You’ve heard it said countless times that local government is closest to the people and affects your daily life the most. So why don’t people seem to believe it, choosing to engage and cast their votes in only the “important” presidential years?

Hopefully, you read this and nod, having already mailed in your ballot or voted early in-person at one of our ten (TEN!) convenient Johnson County early polling locations. If so, then consider those in your life who may not have done so and encourage them to engage. This year’s general election runs the gamut – city councils, JCCC Trustees, school boards, Water One – these governing bodies all impact our community’s quality of life and business climate.

It’s hard to keep up with so many choices. That’s why we work with all the regional chambers of commerce to make it as easy as possible with This website is nonpartisan and carries no endorsements. You can share it with your employees, friends and family and trust that it’s fair because all candidates received the same unbiased surveys which are published unedited. The interviews and forums are also posted unedited, save for timestamps which help you navigate to the questions you are most interested in.
In local elections races can be decided by a handful of votes. One of those votes can be yours. Or not. Make sure you know who represents your voice, then don’t miss one of the many opportunities Johnson County provides for you to cast your ballot.

When I was growing up my family went to the polls together when my father got home from work. I imagined great mysteries when my father entered the voting booth and pulled the curtain. I couldn’t wait to turn 18 and cast my own ballot. I’m grateful to live in a country where that vote counts. Let’s change those percentages – we need more than seventeen percent of our voice to speak for who makes decisions for our community.

Oltjen-Tracey for column

written by

Tracey Osborne Oltjen, CCE, IOM

President & CEO