People vote for those running sometimes based on crazy ideas. I’ve heard people say they vote because they attended a barbecue and were fed. Or because the candidate asked them for their vote.
Others may vote for someone because they are friends with them or they do business with them, or someone else suggested they vote for this particular person.
Sometimes people vote for people just because they don’t want to vote for the other person, or they say they are choosing the lesser of two evils without any real justification. Sometimes people vote for the person they consider the underdog.
I love my friends but let’s face it, not all of them would be good candidates for public office. Neither would I as I have no desire at this particular time. Just because you do business with someone doesn’t mean they will make a good choice or that you should vote for them. It’s just not a good enough reason to vote for someone in my book.
Citizens need to know about the candidates and where they stand on the issues and whether or not they have a personal agenda for seeking a seat. We need to know if the candidate is trustworthy and will they be truthful. For me personally, I want to know if they will be transparent with the public about what they are voting on and why they voted a certain way.
Voting drives often have reasons for voting and the people in charge may and try to tell you how to vote, but there is no education on what to look for in a candidate.
On a local level, it makes no sense to me why someone who wants to get elected to a local entity’s board, whether council or commission, doesn’t attend several meetings of that particular board. They may think they know what’s going on, but from attending these meetings, I can tell you, if you haven’t attended, you don’t really.
Candidates should attend to get a feel for those already on the board whom they will be working with and how things are being done. Not to keep doing them the same way, but to get a feel as to whether changes might be needed in the way business is conducted.
If someone tells me they have never attended a meeting for the seat they are seeking, I look at them sideways and wonder why. It doesn’t matter how many other community boards they may sit on, because being appointed and being elected are not quite the same thing. Having been on many boards over the years, I know this to be true.
Candidates are also not doing a very good job of addressing issues. Every year we ask candidates about issues and to give us their take on what they think the issues are in their particular community. Sometimes they do seem to have their pulse on the community, but many times they don’t.
Sometimes voters get discouraged and wonder why they should vote at all, but there are plenty of reasons to get out and vote.
To me, if you don’t vote, you don’t really have a reason to complain about anything. These days people do regardless, but unless you participate in the community and elect folks to serve you, I don’t think you have that right, at least not with any integrity.
Voting binds us together, gives us a common tie to the community when we invest our time to vote for the best candidate to represent the whole.
Voting is not only a privilege it is a right. Government is supposed to be from “we the people” and unless you are participating, you are giving up that right. People died in our country for that right and to keep us free. It’s disrespectful to their memory, not to vote. Women suffragettes were jailed and force fed for three weeks for the right to vote. At least 40 lives were lost in the fight for minority rights to vote.
If you have children, voting is being a good role model for them.
Your vote does count; elections have been won and lost by one vote.
Don’t you really want to have a say in how your tax monies are spent? Voting for someone who shares your same concerns and values helps ensure they are financially responsible with tax monies.
Voting is one way to participate in your community. However, it makes no sense to haphazardly cast a vote. Find out about the candidates. Ask your friends sure, but investigate for yourself. An informed voter makes wise decisions at the voting booth.
Once elected, be sure and let them know when you are concerned about an issue. They can’t read minds and most really want to hear from their constituents. If you haven’t already voted early, don’t forget to go to the polls on November 5th. ©2019
VICTORIA SIMMONS Is a columnist, author, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org