Voting not just a right; it’s a responsibility

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 1, 2000

Pike Countians will have the opportunity to express a right afforded to them by living in a democracy this year.

The season for elections draws nearer and local, state and national elections all dot the ballot.

In March, a constitutional amendment vote will be on the ballot, representing the first vote of the year for residents of the state. That means prospective voters are running out of time to register if they have not already done so.

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According to the Board of Registrars for Pike County, the deadline to register to vote is 10 days prior to an election.

Voting is something that low voter turnout has shown in recent years is taken for granted in our country. With the economy faring well, there seems to be a higher-than-ever case of voter apathy in this country and in the state of Alabama.

The numbers for the last election, which included a lottery proposal for the state of Alabama that would assist students with education, showed good voter turnout considering what was on the ballot. In most cases, experts were surprised by the turnout and by the outcome of the election.

From that referendum, we learned that there doesn’t have to be a ballot full of candidates to bring voters out when there’s an issue at hand people strongly believe in. And despite a good turnout, the numbers were still less than exceptional.

The decline in voter turnout in recent years is frightening. Voter apathy is a sign that people aren’t expressing their voice in the running of the country. Many people fought and died so that we could all have this right and many people in other countries have fallen victim to imprisonment or death for fighting for the right to express their voice.

Think about this as the election draws nearer. Voter silence is deafening and goes against the principles this country was built on.

Contact the Pike County Board of Registrars and register to vote if you haven’t registered. Whether you are a new resident or you recently reached the age at which you can vote, registering is vital to our ongoing experiment in democracy. We encourage you not only to consider voting a right, but a responsibility.

Jan. 31, 2000 9 PM