Early voting for the November 7 election is over and the initial statistics are in.

Out of 497,067 registered voters in El Paso County, only 18,114 cast ballots at the polls while 2,792 cast mail-in ballots.

That is a total of 20,906 ballots, representing only 4.2% of registered voters, an absolutely abysmal figure.

One can only hope that more El Pasoans will show up at the polls on Election Day this coming Tuesday to decide upon the 14 Texas ballot propositions, including Proposition 4, which would significantly lower our property tax.

Why do so few El Pasoans bother to vote?

Our forefathers fought a revolution against the mighty British Empire so that we could be free to determine our own political course, and countless American soldiers have suffered death or injury since then in order to preserve our liberty.

There were also the many bitter civil rights struggles of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries that ultimately extended suffrage to women, African-Americans, and others.

El Paso is home to Fort Bliss, one of the largest military bases in the United States, and our community is full of active-duty soldiers as well as veterans who have a million stories about the sacrifices that they have made for us.

So why are so many El Pasoans more likely to attend a 4th of July barbecue or catch a football game than to vote on Election Day?

We are mystified.