By The Capital-Journal Editorial Board
Topeka’s mayoral primary is less than two weeks away (Aug. 1), and a public forum brought all five candidates together on stage at the Jayhawk Theatre on Wednesday night. The event attracted an overflow crowd to the theater — even though 180 chairs had been set out, 230 people showed up. Considering the dismal turnout for most local elections in Topeka, this level of interest is encouraging. It demonstrates that Topekans value civic engagement and recognize that this is a critical time for our city. However, if you look at the turnout numbers from recent mayoral primaries, you’d come away with an entirely different impression. For example, in the 2009 primary, only 13.08 percent of registered voters cast a ballot. In 2013, the proportion was a pitiful 4.4 percent.