Voting is not enough

Published 4:37 pm Tuesday, May 13, 2014

What makes a good citizen?

Voting is certainly one element in the exercise of good citizenship, but it is not the only one. Preparing yourself to vote – by learning about the candidates and the issues facing your community are equally important, especially this year.

Shelby County is facing a historic election this year. Several long-serving elected officials are retiring this year, which opens up those seats for the first time in years.

It has been 22 years since U.S. House of Representative’s District 6 seat has been open, 16 years since Alabama House of Representative’s District 43 seat was open and 12 years since there was an open con- test for sheriff.

In order to help voters learn more about the candidates and the issues, the Shelby County Reporter has partnered with the Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce and the Shelby County Republican Party to host a series of election forums this month.

The first forum for the U.S. Congressional 6th District was held May 8. If you missed that forum, you still have a chance to attend three more this month.

  • State Senate District 11 on Tuesday, May 20 from 5:30-7 p.m. at the Shelby County High School auditorium. Co-hosted by the South Shelby Chamber of Commerce.
  • Shelby County Sheriff on Wednesday, May 21 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Pelham Civic Complex. This forum will be held during the GSCCC’s May luncheon, which will be $20 for Chamber members and $30 for non-members.
  • State House District 43, Thursday, May 22 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at New Hope Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

These forums will allow voters to meet the candidates, as well as learn how the issues shaping each race will affect them and the county at large.

Historically, Shelby County has been one of the most Republican counties in the country, and this year, only one Democrat is seeking office in a seat representing part of Shelby County. Primaries usually have lower turnout compared to general elections, but in Shelby County, they are particularly important.

With the primary less than a month away, it is time to make the most of your right to vote. Make sure you are registered, and take the time to learn about the candidates.

The editorial is the opinion of the Shelby County Reporter editorial board.