Registration first step of responsibility

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 16, 2006

A politician thinks of the next election. A statesman, of the next generation.

&8212; James Freeman Clarke

We can consider ourselves lucky to have ample statesmen running for office this year but that does not relieve us of our responsibility: to vote in the June 6 primary election and then again in the November election.

The first step toward fulfilling our electoral responsibility is to register to vote.

Some 98,000 Shelby County residents have registered to vote; their names are listed in the last few sections of today&8217;s newspaper.

This list of registered voters is accurate as of May 3, so if you have moved or otherwise made changes to your voter registration after this date, those changes will not be reflected here.

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

If you do not find your name listed, you still have time to register for this year&8217;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. You will need to complete a simple form and that&8217;s just about it.

– Deadline for registering is 10 days prior to the election in which you plan to vote; last day to register for the June 6 primary is May 26.

– For more information on how you can register, call the Shelby County Registrar&8217;s office at 669-3913.

Registering to vote is the first step toward fulfilling our electoral responsibility; the next steps are to take time to educate ourselves about the issues and the candidates, then to cast our vote for the candidate we consider best prepared to serve.

Done well, voting is not a rote process.

It takes time to register. Time to learn. And time to cast a ballot.

But the return on your investment can be significant for our county and for future generations