In a sense, there are basically three types of citizens in America, those who vote — no matter what — in every election, those who vote when they get riled up about something and those who don’t care if they vote at all.
We’ve dedicated a lot of space on this page this year encouraging Floyd County residents to step up and make their voice heard at the ballot box. We hope it encouraged some people to register to vote, but, in reality, we know that more than 60 percent of the county’s registered voters let someone else make choices for them during the primary election in May.
Now that we’re just days away from this year’s general election, we thought it’d be fitting to call on a few of the county’s dedicated voters. We want to remind you that there is more than one way you can help your country and preserve its democracy.
We live in a high-poverty region, and some residents living here in this rural area of the state have a difficult time getting from place to place. They don’t have a car, or their car needs repaired or they can’t afford insurance — they have issues like that will keep them from casting a vote on Tuesday.
If you have the means of travel and you know someone facing those types of situations, please reach out to him or her and ask if they’d like a ride to the precinct. Call your neighbors, your friends and your family members and talk to them about how important it is for them to vote.
We’re not asking you to tell them how to vote. We’re asking you to reach out and encourage them to be a part of something bigger, to have a say in who gets elected as their leaders here in Floyd County, across the state and in congress.
If you’re at a loss for words, trying to figure out how to explain the importance of voting, we’ll leave you with this, a statement Big Sandy Community and Technical College Professor Dr. Thomas Matijasic gave when he was asked what he would tell people who don’t plan to vote on Tuesday.
He said, “If you look at what happened in Pittsburgh with the massacre of those innocent people who were just going to worship in their synagogue, when you look at the two African Americans who were shopping at a Kroger’s outside of Louisville who were gunned down, when you look at these violent incidents that have occurred, the pipe bombs being sent to Democrats, the Republican congressman who was shot while practicing for a softball game, for political reasons, what’s the alternative to that kind of violence? Well, the alternative is to seek a solution to your political problems, not through violence, but through voting. I think voting and democracy has really spared our country the sort of violence that we’ve seen in other areas of the world.”
He said there’s only one time in history when Americans did not accept the results of an election.
“And that led to a Civil War. That led to 600,000 Americans being killed on battlefields,” he said. “So, when you reject voting, when you reject democracy, you’re really laying the foundation for something that’s horrible for this country. I really hope that people buy into voting. I hope that they buy into democracy. I think it means a lot because it’s a way that we can solve our own problems without resorting to violence.”
You can play a role in helping bring a better resolution and a better way to our political system by helping others make their voice heard. Lend a hand and help not just an individual, but our community and nation.