Shame On PE's Non-Voters

Published 2:14 pm Thursday, December 20, 2012

Editor, The Herald:

On December 11, Prince Edward County held a special election to fill the remainder of the unexpired term of the retiring treasurer. Five individuals campaigned for the opportunity to serve in this capacity. As they traveled across the county, they met many people, shook many hands and were promised many votes. Out of 14,000 registered voters, only 2,774 cast a ballot. Shame on you, Prince Edward County.

There was a time when a man's word and handshake were just as valuable, if not more valuable, than any paper or document. It appears that time has passed. After countless hours and dollars spent on campaigning, can you imagine the disappointment that these candidates must have felt?

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This type of apathy and complacency is a real problem in today's society. People complain about our government in Washington not getting the job done, but if we can't get it done in our own backyard, how can we expect any better from them. After all, they are but a reflection of us; we put them into office, either directly or indirectly, by our votes or lack thereof.

Voting is a special right that all Americans have when they turn eighteen years of age. They do not have to earn this right; others have made extreme sacrifices to guarantee that we have the opportunity to have a voice in our government. All you have to do is watch the evening news, and you will see that people are fighting, and even dying, to obtain the freedoms that we take for granted.

Maybe the right to vote should not be automatic. Maybe we should have to earn it somehow, or maybe we should have to renew it like we do our driver's license. Maybe we should lose the right to vote if we do not use it.

What happened to these voters on December 11? Did they forget? The Herald and WFLO did a great job of keeping us informed. Was it too inconvenient to do the right thing, or do we just not care about who will safeguard and invest our local tax dollars? Should we be able to email or text our votes? Would that get more people to vote?

Regardless of the answer, I personally would like to commend the candidates and the 2,774 people who voted. Thank you for doing the right thing. As for the rest of you, “Shame on you, Prince Edward County.”

Martha Womack <br />
Prince Edward County