Every vote counts

Published 1:06 pm Friday, October 17, 2008

Whew. After those amazingly close run-off elections, we figured everyone would need to catch a breath — especially Montevallo’s Ben McCrory, Pelham’s Don Murphy and Columbiana’s Allan Lowe, all of whom were involved in mayoral races decided by single digits.

As close as those races were, it makes us wonder: how many people didn’t vote because they mistakenly thought their votes wouldn’t matter? Wrong. Just a few votes either way could have changed the outcome of all three of those elections. We all need to learn a lesson from this. Every single vote matters.

A lot of people don’t vote in presidential elections because they believe their votes don’t matter. In Alabama, typically a state Republicans check off in the “W” column before presidential elections even start, it’s easy to see how a Barack Obama supporter might decide not to vote out of frustration.

Unfortunately, that attitude sometimes trickles down to the smaller — yet just as important — state and local elections. It’s these elections that decide who makes the decisions in your town or city. While the presidential elections affect everybody, these local elections affect you — and, yes, you can be an essential part of the outcome.

Don’t be a passive bystander in any election. If you’re not already registered to vote in the upcoming presidential election, better hurry. The last day to register is Oct. 24. Then, once you vote Nov. 4, make a habit of it and vote in every election.

We Say is the Shelby County Reporter’s weekly staff editorial