No excuse for not voting

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 10, 2008

It&8217;s not as if people couldn&8217;t see the signs.

No, seriously, they were everywhere &8212; signs for Tommy Edwards all around Calera, for Jonathan Spann in North Shelby and a pretty huge billboard for Corley Ellis in Columbiana.

The day before Election Day sandwich board signs reminded motorists to &8220;VOTE HERE.&8221; Even on June 3 people we all worked with and ate lunch with sported stickers proclaiming &8220;I voted.&8221;

All the county could muster up though was a measly 10,000 voters or so. Just a few hundred more could have meant the difference in all four contested races, not to mention the District 2 and 8 races now headed for a runoff.

What keeps voters so indifferent? This particular election might have actually been one where each voter&8217;s ballot truly would count.

For example, right up until the last hour of results flooding into the Shelby County Courthouse, Anne Glass sat poised to face Rick Shepherd in a runoff.

In the last few minutes, though, it was Jonathan Spann who brought in 293 votes giving him the second place over Glass with her 230 votes. A margin of just 63 votes changed everything.

It&8217;s possible that the candidates for the Republican primary aren&8217;t fundamentally very different, but what if they were, and you get stuck with a commissioner that doesn&8217;t adequately represent your views?

The Shelby County Commission controls a lot more of the decisions that affect local residents&8217; daily lives. The commisison makes choices about subdivision regulations, road improvements, and budgets for departments like the Sheriff&8217;s Office.

How can this not be important to local voters? It could mean less deputies, poorly maintained roads or an unbalanced budget.