Life impact begins with being informed

&8220;Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote.&8221;

George Jean Nathan

All politics are local, so the old saying goes. Certainly the writer could have been easily thinking of local county commission elections when he or she penned this famous truism.

Most of us reserve our greatest interest in statewide and national elections but is a decision made by Gov. Bob Riley or perhaps whomever sleeps in the White House come next January really that important?

Certainly, it is, but it will be no more impactful on our everyday life than the decisions made by those public servants on the Shelby County Commission.

We can get lost in the glamour of &8220;big&8221; races only to find ourselves uneducated about the races that truly impact us day in day out; races like mayor, city council and county commissioner. Want something positive to happen in your local community? Elect good people to these offices.

We can consider ourselves lucky to have ample statesmen running for office in this year&8217;s county commission races, but that does not relieve us of our responsibility.

That responsibility is to vote in the June 3 primary election and then again in the November election.

The first step toward fulfilling our electoral responsibility is to register to vote. Some 108,000 Shelby County residents have already made this important first step. These citizens have already stepped forward realizing the importance of their role in making our electoral process work.

The second step is even easier than the first:

getting out at voting. Next Tuesday, polls will open throughout Shelby County waiting for what some are predicting will be a low turnout of voters. We&8217;ve all heard over the years countless excuses for not voting; too busy to make time, my vote does not matter, etc.

What a shame.

Next Tuesday, voters in Shelby County have a tremendous opportunity to make a difference in our community for years, if not generations, to come. Here&8217;s hoping we each take advantage of that opportunity.

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.

For more information on next week&8217;s elections, or to get a map to your polling place, visit: http://shelbycountyalabama.com.