Selma should lead by example

Published 11:50 pm Saturday, August 25, 2012

Everyone expects a number of the municipal races to be close. After weeks of campaigning, the back-and-forth of thoughts, opinions and positions and the passion by which many have backed their particular candidate, would you expect anything else?

Nearly every street through Selma, Valley Grande and Orrville are decorated with a myriad of colors from those candidates running for office, and even a few candidates who don’t have to run for election.

If they walked on the top of signs, there are some streets where a person could walk from one end of the street to the other without ever touching the ground. We will reserve the editorial we publish at the end of every election cycle about picking up these items and cleaning up the billboards for a later date.

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In the meantime, we ask today for everyone to take part in the civic act of voting; other than taxes, the cost and main responsibility of eligible voters within a representative democracy as ours.

Nearly everyone has voted in one election or another, and at last check, no one was injured in the act of voting. Filling out a ballot is not all too labor intensive and other than the campaign workers creating a gauntlet of sample ballots and flyers on the way into most polling places, there are few people standing between a voter and the polls. In short, it’s pretty easy and quick.

The polls in Selma, Valley Grande and Orrville will open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.; well enough time for everyone eligible to vote to do so. With the availability of absentee voting, which apparently thousands have already taken advantage of in Selma, there are very few — if any — reasons why a person does not take time to vote.

It is sad in a place where the civil rights movement and the voting rights effort gained national attention at the blunt end of a Sheriff’s Deputy and Alabama State Trooper, that we “celebrate” when we have 30 to 40 percent turnout.

Selma should lead the nation in voter turnout. Selma should set the standards. But sadly, we will again likely “celebrate” a 30 to 40 percent turnout.

There is a chance of rain in the area for Tuesday, but again, that should not stop someone for doing the right thing and vote.

In races that are expected to be very close, a very small number of votes will decide the election. It would be a shame for the candidate you support fail to win because you didn’t go vote.