We have to go to the polls

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 16, 2004

Staff Editorial

With a three-way race for the State Senate heading into the final two-week stretch, at least two candidates have been hard at it in an attempt to get as many people as possible to vote in the election on Oct. 26.

Both Bryant Melton and Thomas Moore – the newspaper has been unsuccessful at talking to Bobby Singleton, the Sawyerville state representative who is also running – have expressed concern over whether or not voters in the Black Belt will bother voting in two elections just seven days apart.

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One observer The Times spoke with made a good point: it’s too much hassle to go through so close together. That same person observed that folks are getting tired of voting this year.

That’s a good point, and a sad commentary.

So far, 2004 has brought us county, district and state elections, municipal elections and a November general election in which we’ll select the next President of the United States.

Why bother going through the trouble of voting for another legislator who’ll be in Montgomery most of the time?

Trust us when we say it’s well worth the effort.

The Black Belt simply cannot afford not to have a vocal representative in Montgomery. It’s even more critical to have a strong voice in the Senate, where it carries more weight because of that chamber’s smaller number.

While Charles Steele was there to represent the “rural” counties just as much as he was there for Tuscaloosa County, in actuality he never made it over to press the flesh with the country folk much.

This year we have the opportunity to send one of two “sho-nuff” Black Belt residents to the state house, and another who was reared in Perry County.

Regardless of which way one leans toward a candidate, it’s critical to our region’s well being the most able man goes forward to represent us. The only way that will happen is if West Alabama voters go to the polls Oct. 26.

These candidates are out working hard to get themselves in the Senate. The rest of us owe it to them to at least show up at the polls.

Presidential general elections draw voters in Alabama. Gubernatorial races average drawing about half of the voters. Primaries? Only about 25 percent vote. Special elections are even shakier. Let’s not let that happen this year.

Get out and vote.