Make your voice heard this election

Published 7:00 am Saturday, August 1, 2015

By now everyone should know the primary election is Tuesday.

If you haven’t noticed the plethora of campaign signs lining the roads throughout the county, you probably became immune to their presence.

During my career in journalism I have marveled at just how low voter turnout is, not just in Pearl River County, but nationwide.

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Voter turnout is determined by taking the number of people registered to vote and calculating that figure against the number of people who actually voted.

Just about every election year, that number is well below 30 percent in this county, unless taxes or alcohol are on the ballot. Let’s not forget presidential election year, which is another election cycle with high turn out numbers.

But when local elections are the only thing on the ballot, for some reason people just seem to forget, or don’t care to cast their opinion.

Admittedly, before starting a career in the news industry, I never voted. I registered when I turned 18, but for some reason just never made my way to a polling place. The worst part is I don’t have an excuse as to why. It could have been that I didn’t feel a vested interest in what was going on, or maybe I was just young and felt I had more entertaining things to do with my time.

But now that I’ve seen how things operate within a community, I’ve become more concerned with who is in office, the decisions they make and how those decisions affect my day-to-day life.

Now, not a year goes by where I don’t make a visit to my local polling place to cast my ballot.

Becoming involved in the election process is important not just to our community, but the nation as a whole. If you don’t vote for your favorite candidate, you effectively don’t have a right to complain about how things are going within Pearl River County, or our nation for that matter.