Well, will you or won’t you? Vote, that is.
In a number T&D Region towns, today is an election day. No, this is not about the presidential politics that dominate the news. Tuesday’s municipal elections are closer to home, with the people on the ballot those you know. They are people who will be making key decisions in the coming four years on everything from water bills to town projects that will affect tax bills and the quality of life in your locale.
Ahead of Tuesday’s voting, The Times and Democrat previewed the local elections, asking candidates about the issues. Nearly universally, candidates in the region’s towns are prioritizing development that will improve life for residents and give young people incentive to remain benefactors of a rural lifestyle into adulthood. We asked candidates about commitment to the S.C. Freedom of Information Act, the state law that mandates open government. Again universally, candidates pledged to be cognizant of the law and committed to keeping citizens abreast of their government through abiding by its provisions.
Now comes decision time. It is up to people in each town to weigh the campaign pledges of the candidates and cast their votes.
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But will they? Though voting is a privilege we are given thanks to the democracy and the Constitution that provide our very foundation, too few take time to participate. Check the low voter turnout numbers in many elections. People complain about the people elected to office, but then they forfeit their privilege to vote for a change. Or, in some cases, they support officeholders, but apparently not enough to vote and retain them. It's puzzling, really.
Our process of electing people to various offices is hardly perfect. That's a given.
But we are so fortunate in this country to have our system — even flawed as it seems or may be — of choosing our representatives at all levels of government. We should not take this privilege for granted, nor should we forget that voting is far more than a privilege.
It is a duty and an obligation we have to ourselves, to each other and to the very foundation of our country.
So if you are among those planning to vote today, you are doing your duty, exercising your right and privilege to make your voice heard via the balloting process. If you are among those who will not vote, refrain from complaining about anything those in elected office do for you. Or to you. You have no voice because you willingly chose to mute it.