Here’s our chance to choose

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 11, 2004

If you take the time to look through the last few sections of today’s newspaper, you will find a list of local patriots.

No – this is not a list of brave men and women serving in our armed forces.

Nor is it a list of the courageous founders of our county and state.

In many ways, the list is a reflection of the importance residents of Shelby County put on the electoral process and their role in making same work.

This list is comprised of thousands of local patriots who plan to have a voice in our government.

They are registered voters for this year’s elections.

The importance of voting in our local and national elections cannot be overstated.

Elections are, after all, our best opportunity to influence the direction of our city, county, state and nation.

The old saying still rings true:

you can’t complain about the direction of your government if you do not take time to vote.

Some 83,823 Shelby County residents have registered to vote, leaving about 21,852 folks (based on the 2000 census) out there who need to register.

You still have time to become a patriot yourself by registering for this year’s elections.

Here are the basics: Voters must be a resident for 10 days, 18 years of age or older and must never have been convicted of a felony or declared mentally incompetent.

Municipal elections require a 30-day residency period.

Deputy registrars are located throughout Shelby County so signing up is a snap.

You will need to complete a simple form and that’s just about it.

Deadline for registering is 10 days prior to the election in which you plan to vote.

For information on how you can register, call the Shelby County Registrar’s office at 669-3913.

Many people have fought and died to give us the right to vote.

Thanks to their sacrifices, all we need to do is take a few moments out of our day to register.

Tim Prince is the publisher of the Shelby County Reporter. He can be reached at