Kent: Familiarize yourself with candidates and go vote

October 30, 2013 

From time to time, I am asked by people why I don’t use this column to make political endorsements. With the large number of candidates running for office in our community, I have been asked the question a lot during the past few weeks.

The answer is very simple -- my husband works for the city of Warner Robins.

There is no sign in my front yard, no bumper sticker on my car. Whether it is a strict rule or just makes common sense, city employees take risks when they voice an opinion about someone that might be your mayor but their boss. So although we have a view about who should be the next mayor and on the City Council, we aren’t sharing it.

However, I am going to share with you this: I am endorsing the fact that it is your duty to get out and vote Tuesday. It is a right and a privilege to vote, so get out there and do it.

Too many people in our community and across this country leave the voting to others. Just go back to our last election that included a mayoral race in 2009. There were 31,914 registered voters in the city -- not even half the number of people who live here.

But maybe even sadder than the fact that less than half are registered is this: Of those 31,914 people that took the time to register, only 5,937 votes were cast for mayor.

We talk about voting as a privilege of being an American, and maybe that should be enough to get you out to the polls. But if the red, white and blue isn’t enough, then find another reason. Don’t do it for patriotic reasons -- do it for selfish reasons.

Go vote because you care about yourself and your kids and want to help determine the people who will lead the city you call home.

Years ago, I was covering a mock election at an elementary school. One of the young girls I interviewed -- by now an adult and hopefully a voter herself -- was very adamant in her views about voters getting out to the polls.

“We need a government,” she said to me. “It matters what kind of government we have. So it’s important for grown-ups to go vote for the right people.”

She was right then, and she is right now. It does matter not only that we vote but that we vote for the right person.

The election is in less than a week. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the candidates and where they stand on issues. Ask a friend who is more knowledgeable (just don’t ask me because I won’t answer you), and do whatever it takes to learn and be informed.

Then be sure that come rain or shine, you get out there Tuesday and press that button for the candidate of your choice.

Contact Alline Kent at 396-2467 or allinekent@cox.net.

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