Show up to vote and make a difference
October 11, 2002
The best way to show the world that we take our status seriously as the longest continuous democracy is by showing up at the polls and voting. Since 1945, U.S. voter turnout in federal elections ranks 139th among the world’s 172 democracies. Yep, you read that right.
By voting, we can match our words with our actions. We cannot expect our children, and others we try to set an example for, to embrace democracy unless we ourselves set a genuine example by practicing it. Consider that most of the humans who have lived on this planet have never lived free lives.
Imagine not being able to go to the church of your choice, imagine not having the right to vote. How joyful the oppressed of today’s world would be to live in a nation governed by a freely elected president and legislature.
There are several questions in Douglas County on the ballot this coming election and they deserve your full attention, as do the four candidates running for county commissioner. Sure you say you care, but this past September, this county had one of the worst voter turnouts in history. Don’t know what a county commissioner does? It’s simple to find out. If you are unsure what Douglas County questions 1,2,3 and 4 are about, find out. If you are unsure which candidate for commissioner represent your beliefs, wants and desires, then call them up, and talk to them. It is important that you ask what the pro and cons are on each issue. If you vote based on hearsay or one persons opinion in front of the grocery store because that seems easiest, then you have done yourself, your neighbors and your community a horrible injustice.
Maybe you are not aware that all of our school buses leave the yard from Airport Road twice a day and are not allowed to make a left onto Highway 395 because it is unsafe. They actually have to travel northbound in the opposite direction, down Heybourne Road up to Johnson Lane, then back to Hwy 395 to go south. How many more school budget dollars are not being spent in the classroom that are instead paying for extra fuel, payroll, tires and more because our roads are not safe? How many people know that the 5-cent gas tax proposal will be phased in through 2005, not added all at once and that that 1 cent will be distributed directly back to the towns and GID’s for their road responsibilities? Obviously those who say their local roads won’t be helped aren’t aware of the 1-cent return or the comprehensive transportation CIP in place. There are those that say developers should pay for new roads and in reality they do. The problem lies in care and maintenance dollars for these roads after they are built. These issues are not unique to our Valley, but our community is unique in that it is proactive in planning its transportation infrastructure. So maybe questions 1,2, and 3 do make complete sense. Just find out.
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Make a commitment to vote responsibly and know what you are voting for. If you love freedom and how you live, the right thing to do on Nov. 5 is to reaffirm your commitment not only as a citizen of Douglas County but the United States of America. So go vote responsibly and show your children, your neighbors and your community your commitment to freedom still burns brightly.