Let’s not waste our right to vote on November 5 – The Courier-Express

Posted: November 2, 2019 at 5:51 pm

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There is less than a week before we once more excercise our privilege of casting our vote. Twice a year were called upon to let our government know what we think about how theyve been running the country and we do that through our votes.

In preparing for coverage of next Tuesdays General Election, we asked what most newspapers ask of the county election office How many registered voters are there? The answer to that is 29,825.

Does that number represent everyone of voting age?

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the population of Jefferson County at the 2010 census was 45,200. The estimated population as of July 1, 2018, is 43,641. That leaves a 13,000 plus difference between the population and the number of registered voters. That could mean that most of those eligible to vote are registered when you eliminate those who are too young and those in nursing homes who may not be able to vote.

But in the May Primary Election with almost 98 percent of the votes in to the election office there were less than 7,000 votes cast. Think about that. Less than 7,000 votes cast. Thats slightly more than a fourth of the people registered to vote.

What would our forefathers who fought against taxation without representation have thought of it? Would they hang their heads in sadness or disbelief that the blood and tears they shed to fight for the right to be respresented was so unimportant to so many citizens?

The fight for that right didnt end with the Declaration of Independence for everyone. Women would later organize and fight to gain that right for themselves with the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

What would those ladies of yesteryear think of us today? Would they wonder how we could throw away a right they considered so precious because it gave them a voice?

Have we become so oblivious to how lucky we are to be able to freely and openly go to the voting polls and cast our ballot? In many countries they are not so lucky. While some claim they are democratic in their system of voting, when looked at closely they fail the test.

Theres plenty of excuses as to why someone didnt vote work, too busy, no transportation, etc. Those are just excuses though. There is an ATA bus system that can help or how about calling a neighbor, family member or a friend who lives in the same voting district and going to vote together. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. so surely a quick stop to vote cant interfere with a persons busy schedule too much. Or how about planning ahead and picking up an absentee ballot at the county election office several weeks prior to the voting day.

Jefferson County has seen an upswing in people asking for the absentee ballots this election and we think thats wonderful. Just because one is on vacation or away on a business trip doesnt mean they have to give up their right to vote.

Of course over the years because of televised media coverage of elections we sometimes think our vote doesnt count. How often have you heard, or thought, its just one vote? Each vote does count. Yes, one may see the media call the election for a state and the polls havent closed yet. That doesnt mean the vote isnt counted or doesnt mean anything. First, it means you exercised your right as a U.S. citizen to voice your choices in who and how you want your municipality, your county, your state and your country to govern. What they do effects us.

Those early calls for the election are just estimations or predictions. They are not always correct.

Even when we cover an election, we get the vote tally for that night but it is not the official vote tally. That will come once write in votes are tallied and ballots are checked to make certain every vote was accounted for. Today, the technology makes those early tallies fairly accurate but upsets can happen.

There is also the fact that you may not be the only one thinking my vote doesnt count and thinking of not voting. When a majority of voters feel that way or are apathetic to the election or the candidates, there is a definite impact. In May more than 22,000 people in Jefferson County decided not to vote. That likely made a definite impact on who is on the ballot in the upcoming General Election. So, yes, your vote does count.

Id encourage everyone to get out and vote. Lets not waste this hard won right we have and for which many around the world envy us. If we dont use it will we someday run the risk of losing it because others saw our inaction and figured it didnt really mean much to us?

So mark Tuesday, Nov. 5, on your calendar and stop at your voting poll and let your voice be heard.

The rest is here:

Let's not waste our right to vote on November 5 - The Courier-Express

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November 2nd, 2019 at 5:51 pm

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