Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Exercise your right to vote

Have you voted?

If you haven't, don’t worry! You can still vote early through this Saturday. The Election Commission office is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday. It’s located behind the Courthouse on the western side of Centennial Boulevard.

Be sure to vote at your precinct August 2 if you miss the early deadline. Local offices including Sheriff, County Commission and School Board are on the line, so the results can truly have an impact on your daily life.

When Commissioners and School Board members consider an issue, one vote makes a big difference. Yours can do the same: many, many local elections have been won (and lost, of course) by fewer than ten votes, and I can recall at least one tie.

You also still have time to learn about the candidates - local ones and those in primaries for November’s state and federal election.  Study your choices on sample ballots for County General, Republican and Democrat primaries on our website, The internet can help you study the candidates, too, but take everything on Facebook with a grain of salt.

Since I work with County Commissioners, I can tell you the traits to look for in a good one. The right person will take their responsibilities seriously, attend meetings faithfully and listen to their constituents. They will also realize that they serve the county as a whole, and will not vote for the good of their district (or themselves) to the detriment of everyone else.

Why should you vote? BECAUSE YOU CAN.

The Constitutional amendment that lowered the voting age from 21 to 18 passed in July, 1971, the same month I turned 18. That’s reason enough to vote if you are 18, 19, or 20.

Women should vote because they couldn’t prior to August 26, 1920. Passage of the 19th amendment required ratification by three-quarters of the states, and Tennessee held the last, crucial vote. When legislators voted on the matter, they tied 48-48. The tie-breaker was cast by a young lawmaker from McMinn County, swayed by a note from his mother that urged him to “be a good boy.”

If you are African American, you should vote because even after the 15th amendment gave males the right in 1870, state and local laws often prevented them from doing so. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 began to officially address and end those practices.

Those who have respect for veterans should vote because they defend our right to do so, beginning with the Revolutionary War, when 65,000 died. Our freedoms are paid with their sacrifices.

Finally, you should vote "so you can complain with integrity," as one writer put it. Do you want to argue with Abraham Lincoln? This is what he had to say about voting, or not:

 "Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the people and burn their behinds, then they will have to sit on their blisters."



Heritage AutomotiveD E Hill & SonNick Moore
Hood Hester RealtySwap and Shop Center