It takes more than votes for an election

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 27, 2004

As the birthplace of the Voting Rights Movement, it could be argued that democracy in Selma is even more sacred than the Framers could ever imagine.

That’s why it’s nice to see the voters of the Selma-Dallas County area come out and participate in public forums like the one held Tuesday at the Performing Arts Centre.

Candidates for local and state office made themselves available to be grilled by their potential constituents and no one was spared.

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The attendants came, asked insightful, thought provoking questions and paid attention, all in an attempt to learn more about their future leaders.

The United States is unique because every few years we force our leaders to tell us why they should be our leaders. If we aren’t satisfied with the reasons, we get new ones.

No other country allows that kind of self-scrutiny or introspection on such a massive level.

It amazes us, that despite low voter turnouts and increasing apathy, that there are people in Selma and Dallas County willing to come out and take care of the difficult task of selecting our leaders.

We salute these concerned citizens and hope their examples inspires others to do the same.

It’s not enough to show up, cast a random ballot and go home.

Voters must identify those candidates who they feel best reflects themselves.

To do that, its necessary to learn as much as possible about a candidate, through forums, newspapers articles or even by just asking a potential candidate questions.

Hopefully, the upcoming election guide The Times-Journal publishes will help. But it’s only a beginning.

To be a part of a democracy requires work and self-education. The STJ hopes more Selmians will reach for that goal.