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Vote on Tuesday; It's your chance to be heard

“Don’t relinquish your right to vote; your chance to be heard”. How many times have you heard that stated, yet many people do not take the time to cast a vote when given the opportunity? Voter apathy is one of the biggest problems in the United States today, and when it comes to local elections where people can make the most difference with how their local government is run, many still don’t take the small amount of time required to cast a vote.

In August of 1978, I became friends with a young man who came to the United States from his native Venezuelan to get a quality education. While he was here, he would often tell us Americans that he was amazed at the American way of life and the numerous things we as Americans took for granted, one of which was voting. In the 1980 presidential election, of the 163,945,000 registered voters, 86 million or 52.8% cast votes to elect Ronald Reagan over incumbent Jimmy Carter.

Lately, I’ve heard so many comments locally about different topics surrounding our local and state governments, yet odds are that most of those people will not vote, only complain and stir up controversary and get others riled up. It’s become the norm in a lot of areas of the U.S. to just not give a hoot when it comes time for elections.

The Census Bureau estimated that there were 245.5 million Americans ages 18 and older in November 2016, about 157.6 million of whom reported being registered to vote. Nearly 56 percent of the U.S. voting-age population cast ballots in the 2016 presidential election, representing a slight uptick compared with 2012, but less than in the record year of 2008.

Last November (2018), a turnout of 34 percent was deemed a great turnout by many pollsters for the congressional races for U.S. Senate and House of Representatives and local judges in Mississippi. That 34 percent was basically one third of the registered voters in Pearl River County which at that time was 47,311.

On Tuesday, outside of a Presidential race, this is considered a big election with statewide, regional, and local offices on the ballot. Locally, its voting for people we know, who will decide how to spend our tax dollars and make decisions here in Pearl River County for the next four years. This is your chance to either to decide if you like the way people are performing or you are ready to make a change. It’s your right, your privilege, and your duty as an American citizen. The decision not to vote when you are able and can make to the polls, it’s more than apathy….it’s ignoring your responsibility.

Please don’t take it lightly and just decide not togo to the polls on Tuesday. Any runoff elections will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 27th. If you are not registered to vote, please at go register after Tuesday and before October 7th so you can vote in the November 5th General Election Day.


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