Be a part of the process, its your right

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 8, 2008

With the rain pouring down outside of a Methodist church in southeast Huntsville, a line of voters stood sharing umbrellas at 7 a.m. in the morning last year, just to cast a ballot in the state gubernatorial election.

I felt a real sense of patriotism that morning seeing those men and women, many of whom had brought their children to see the process first hand, patiently waiting in miserable weather to enjoy a freedom available to those who wish to take advantage of it.

I&8217;ll admit, I&8217;m a bit of a political junkie. I enjoy following the candidates and yes, I watched every minute of Saturday&8217;s debates, both Republican and Democrat. So, for me, voting is part of something I enjoy. This may not be so for many of you.

Many do not enjoy the

grandstanding, the long drawn out speeches on healthcare plans or foreign trade policy or the mudslinging. You probably don&8217;t care whether or not the bookcase in Mike Huckabie&8217;s commercial looks like a cross or if John Edwards got a $400 haircut.

I get that.

What I don&8217;t get is the lack of desire to care enough about your rights as an American to not make every effort to vote, and do so in an educated manner. People say their vote doesn&8217;t count and sadly, it may often rightfully feel that way. But for once, the state of Alabama might actually have more of a say this year.

Our chance to vote in a presidential primary comes around Feb. 5, making us one of the earlier states on the campaign trail. Before, our primary was in June, which was kind of like being the the eighth bridesmaid in a bridal party of 12 &045;&045; everyone ignores you because they just want to get on with the party already.

Now, we get to be at least a somewhat larger part of the party. We get to be one of the states to watch, as candidates begin dropping like flies on the way to the party caucuses.

It is important, whether you realize it or not, to know what positions these candidates are running with. Many candidates are touting change &045; change in healthcare, in Iraq, in environmental policy and in trade policy. These all can affect your daily lives by changing how you pay for insurance or by costing you more money.

It&8217;s time to pay attention and then get out and vote.