I didn't vote in the Tauranga byelection.
At least 19,403 people did, out of an enrolled population of 54,800.
An estimated 62,499 people were eligible to enrol in the electorate, so about one in three of us who could vote actually bothered to.
The demographics of byelection voters are not yet known but I would guess that young people like myself were the dominant MIAs.
History tells us a lot of young adults don't vote. A Stats NZ report on the 2014 general election showed people in the older age groups were more likely to vote than those who were younger.
Why didn't I vote? On reflection, I think it is because the candidates didn't connect with me on issues that I really cared about.
Some pushed for an overthrow of the city commissioners — a silly move, in my opinion, until Tauranga is back on track.
Crime, housing and the cost of living were also discussed at length but I felt no one really had any proper answers for how they would sort things out.
I accept that not voting vetoes my right to complain about local politics and that's fair enough.
I could argue journalists shouldn't vote anyway. We're the fourth estate, a term used to emphasise the independence of the press from the decision-makers.
Given studies have shown declining public trust in media, I can understand why some take this hard line.
It's not a position I subscribe to. I have voted in previous elections and may do so again.
My reluctance to vote in this contest stemmed from a feeling that nothing that I heard from the candidates resonated with me.
Some young people are heavily invested in politics, others couldn't get further away.
I lean towards the latter but, given the nature of my job, I am still aware of most of the major issues candidates promote. So I was doing a little better than one friend of mine who did not even know who the candidates were.
I understand how it might be hard work for candidates to engage young people. For example, they tend to consume news differently than the generations that came before them.
I know I have no right to tell other young people to vote, and I am not sure blanket encouragement will do much good anyway.
I think the answer to getting young people to the ballot box lies with the political hopefuls seeking their votes in local elections later this year than the general election after that.
It is their challenge to find relevant, important issues and ideas and ways to talk about them that cut through the digital noise and resonate with youth.
It won't be easy but it is vital politicians, at a local and national level, connect with young people on relevant issues.
After all, who has more to gain or lose from political decisions than those with plenty of years ahead of them?