• 52°

Dallas County residents need to vote

Dallas County had a low voter turnout for the Primary and Runoff Elections. 

In each of those elections, over 30 percent participated. For last week’s run-off in the Probate Judge race, the turnout was 35 percent. In the June 5 Primary Election, only 37.3 percent participated. Dallas County has 31,770 registered voters.

For the past two months, I heard talk throughout the county about people usually sitting out Primary and run-off elections and wait to vote in the General Election.

Count me among those who consider all elections equal in importance. Everyone needs to vote regardless of the size of the election.

The younger generation desperately needs someone to set a good example and do the right thing and vote.

When I turned 18 in 1987, being able to vote for the first time was a big deal. I had an opportunity to cast my vote.

Alabama’s controversy in the 1986 Governor’s race didn’t discourage me from voting.

A year before I became eligible to vote, the Alabama Democrat candidate for Governor eventually went to the Alabama Supreme Court. Then-Attorney General Charles Graddick and Lieutenant Governor Bil Baxley were in a runoff.

Baxley challenged the results, claiming Graddick violated Democratic Party rules by encouraging people who voted in the Republican primary to cross over and vote in the Democratic runoff election. The Democrats prohibit Republicans and Independents from voting in its primary election.

The case went to the Alabama Supreme Court, which ruled that crossover voting took place in large numbers. The Democratic Party either had to select Baxley as the nominee or hold another run-off election. Baxley was chosen by Democrats and he eventually lost to Republican Guy Hunt that November.

I didn’t let it affect me and remained focused on voting.

Moving forward, I’d like to see better turnout from Dallas County in the General Election on Nov. 6. It doesn’t matter who you vote for: Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox or incumbent Governor Kay Ivey.

Dallas County residents, make your vote count.

James Jones is the news editor for The Selma Times-Journal. He can be reached at james.jones@selmatimesjournal.com.