That thinking is just plain wrong

Published 11:00 pm Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I had an interesting conversation with my family about voting the other day, and with Election Day fast approaching, I thought it would be an applicable column topic.

Turns out, they were split down the middle on voting – half do, the other half do not.

I won’t call any names, but you know who you are.

It got me to thinking …their philosophy of “my vote doesn’t count” is just plain wrong.

Let’s look at some national numbers.

According to the U.S. Census, 131 million people overall voted in the 2008 presidential election, a turnout increase of about 5 million people since 2004. (I know we’re two years away from another presidential election, but bear with me for a moment.)

During that same four-year period, the voting-age citizen population in the United States increased by roughly 9 million people. Incidentally in 2008, 71 percent of voting-age citizens were registered to vote, a decrease compared to the 72 percent who were registered in 2004.

Citizens between the ages of 18 to 24 were the only age group to show a statistically significant increase in turnout in the most recent election. Citizens between the ages of 45 to 64 saw their voting rates decrease, while voting rates for citizens aged 25 to 44 and 65 years or older were statistically unchanged between 2004 and 2008.

So what do those numbers mean?

Nothing to you and me, aside from the fact that each one of those votes did count, and it put every person serving in public office in his or her seat. To me, that’s pretty important. So, make no mistake. Your vote counts.

That’s why it’s vitally important in the days between now and Election Day to make up your mind about each candidate. It’s easy to do.

Want to meet Republican gubernatorial candidate Dr. Robert Bentley? Got a burning question for him? Be on the Court Square Friday at 7:30 a.m. for hot coffee and doughnuts. He will depart at 8:30 a.m.

Democrat Ron Sparks will sit down for a one-on-one interview with us at The Star-News at the end of the week. Got a question for him – and I mean a legit question whose answer would be informative for Star-News readers – e-mail me at I’ll see what I can do with it.

Local candidates are only a phone call or e-mail away.

If you’d rather, you can wait until later this week and read their positions and why each local candidate thinks he’s the best man for the job. Responses from those seeking the position of district attorney, state representative for District 92 and even coroner will be printed in Friday’s edition.

One might ask what you’d ask a man who wants to be coroner, but I’m not going to tell. You’ll have to read it for yourself.

I urge you the voters, take each response weigh it carefully. Make an informed decision, and by all means, go vote on Tuesday.