Today, our votes aren’t personal

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Staff Editorial

For most of us, there’s absolutely nothing personal about today. We live in Small Town, America, and we’ve been asked – by our birthright of freedom – to elect new leaders.

That may sound strange, but we must understand the meaning.

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Small town elections, in a sense, are more difficult than statewide and national elections. In November, we’ll head to the polls to select a president we’ll never meet. In 2006, we’ll elect a governor we’ll never meet. But today, we’re asked to cast votes for people we see in the supermarkets or the church pews once a week.

There’s nothing more difficult than a municipal election because we’re forced to cast ballots for friends and neighbors rather than capable leaders. We feel guilty when we support someone other than the candidate who grew up across the street.

Today, there’s absolutely nothing personal about our trip to the polls. We’re not selecting the most popular of the candidates; we’re selecting the most likely to succeed. And as you might remember from the high school year book, those most likely to succeed aren’t always the same people with whom we carpooled.

Today, there’s absolutely nothing personal about our trip to the polls. In Demopolis, Greensboro and Marion, we’re selecting new mayors because the incumbents have stepped aside. We’re selecting the people who will make decisions every day about the city’s in which we live. They’ll make changes to the future homes of our children.

Voters must go to the polls today, if for no other reason than the responsibility we bear as U.S. citizens. When we go to the polls, we also must remember to select competent leaders who put our concerns above their own.

That’s not personal; that’s responsible.