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Scott Loftis

From the Editor

Scott Loftis is editor for Carroll County Newspapers. His email address is SLoftis@cherryroad.com

Opinion

More than just a right

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Election season is in full swing and today Iíd like to discuss the responsibility we all have to do our duty to preserve our democracy.

Of course, Iím talking about voting. Thatís the foundation of our democracy and itís something that American men and women have literally given their lives to earn and to preserve.

Iím always a little disheartened to hear how few Americans actually exercise their right to vote. Itís more than a right, really, when we look at it in a global perspective. There are people around the world who would dearly love the opportunity, the privilege, of voting in free and fair elections. Yet so many of us in this country canít be bothered. Registering is simple and quick and voting doesnít take a lot of time. I typically choose to vote early and I donít think itís ever taken me more than 10 minutes. Voting is my best opportunity to have a say in my government at every level ó from my JP district all the way to the White House. If Iím going to express my opinions in conversation, on social media and in this space, all year long, then I certainly ought to take my time to express them at the ballot box. If I donít, then all that talk is meaningless.

Iíd also like to encourage everyone not just to vote, but to be as informed as you can. Iíll admit to being slightly annoyed on occasion when I go to vote and someone voting ahead of me seems to be reading the ballot for the very first time. I make it a point to check out a sample ballot and decide how Iím going to vote beforehand. It saves time and it lets me consider all sides ó without holding up the line.

I also get annoyed at people who do vote but donít understand what they are voting for ó like asking a candidate for county judge where he got his law degree. The county judge isnít really a judicial officer ó although he or she does have some authority to oversee public hearings. Instead, the judge is the chief executive official for the county, functioning similarly to a mayor at the city level.

I know it can be daunting and confusing, but especially in the times we live in ó when everyone seems to be almost forced to choose and declare one political allegiance or another ó itís even more important to understand the choices that we each make as voters. As I said, our democracy depends on it.

In case you didnít know, the next election in Carroll County is Tuesday, May 24. You still have time to register, research and exercise your right to vote. I urge you all to do so, because itís really much more than just a right.