One more day and General Election 2012 will be held. After all the speeches, rallies, yard signs, endorsements, and political ads have run on the media, the reality is, it is time to vote. I am an advocate for free and open elections. Every person who is eligible to register to vote should be registered. Every person who is registered to vote should vote in every election. Those words roll off my tongue very easily when I am speaking to various groups across the Southeast.
Someone suggested to me that maybe it is easier to say than to do. Is it easier to talk about voting that actually vote? In this election cycle in Georgia, we have had the first Saturday voting opportunity. In Barrow County, we have come close to almost 10,000 people having voted early. Those numbers excite me. With that type of early voting, we just might set a new record for the number of registered voters actually voting in this election cycle. I certainly hope so. Nothing would please me more than to see records being set across our nation as we exercise the wonderful freedom of going to a polling place and casting our vote.
During the time between elections I talk with many people who tell me what is wrong with our country. We are never at a loss for hearing opinions from people as to how things would be different if only the political parties or the certain politician would listen to the person who knows it all and has all the answers to every question in the political world. I always ask one question of the person filled with bucket loads of opinions. The question I ask is, “Did you vote?” It comes as a surprise when I ask that question of someone who is so filled with opinions about how to straighten out all the rough places in the political world that they more often than not answer my question with a resounding “No!” That is the wrong answer. Opinions are good. I have many and enjoy sharing them wherever I go and whenever I write my columns. Having a ton of opinions and being willing to share them with all who will listen is not enough. The place our voice is heard the loudest is at the voting booth. Any excuse short of an absolute unexpected emergency should not keep us from voting.
I have heard from people as they said they do not like certain candidates and because of that, they are not going to vote. That is not an acceptable reason to not vote. The list of excuses I have heard from people in recent days as to why they will not vote contain no real reason to skirt their civil duty and refuse to vote. From where I stand if you have not already voted, please vote Tuesday in order to assure that you have a voice.
Did you vote early, or will you wait and vote on Election Day? Tell us in comments below.
Follow Ray Newman on Twitter — @RayNewmanSr.