We thank Helen Blocker-Adams for submitting a notarized affidavit Monday to withdraw officially from the Augusta mayor’s race.
She suspended her campaign Thursday in the wake of unfolding news about her troubled finances. Her official withdrawal defuses what could have been an awkward election outcome.
Now that Ms. Blocker-Adams has done the right thing, we ask citizens to do the right thing, too.
Please vote today.
By casting your ballot, you’re actually accomplishing several things at once. You’re not just picking a new set of community leaders. You’re determining how your tax money is spent. You’re helping chart your community’s future. You’re upholding the democratic principles of our constitutional republic.
Voting is that important.
One of America’s enduring ironies is that the same freedom that grants you the power to vote also gives you the freedom not to vote. That puts the United States on the low end of voter participation when compared with the rest of the world’s nations. Part of that is because many countries make voting compulsory; Belgium introduced the practice in 1892.
But forcing you to vote is flatly inconsistent with the freedom we associate with America. Instead, Americans are left to realize for themselves that voting is one of the most empowering acts they can perform as citizens.
Your ballot can help decide whether Augusta’s government can use a 1-cent special purpose local option sales tax to fund nearly $200 million in local improvements.
Your ballot can help choose Augusta’s next mayor, and a slate of city commissioners. You can choose who speaks for you in Congress, and who represents your best interests in several state offices.
Also, depending on where you vote and for which party, there are lists of yes-or-no questions for you to answer. The votes aren’t binding, but it takes the temperature of the electorate on a number of issues, such as whether citizens want to see a rise in the minimum wage, or an abolishment of the state income tax, or legalized medical marijuana.
Every vote counts. Your vote counts. Make it count today, and you can say with confidence that you made a difference.