Voting requires work

An act so valuable deserves effort -- especially from our leaders

  • Follow Editorials

By experience, demeanor and record, Scott Peebles may be the strongest Richmond County sheriff’s candidate, and may have the biggest and most conspicuous following.

But the deputy’s tepid voting record – casting ballots 56 percent of the time going back to 2002 – is outmatched only by his abysmal excuses for missing elections:

“In law enforcement, especially what I was doing, it’s hit or miss. I know there were times when I intended to vote, but I didn’t because of something that happened, or I wasn’t educated enough about the race.”

Really? Something gets in the way, or there’s no information on the candidates or issues, nearly half the time? Come on.

Here’s someone badly in need of a rewind.

Given another opportunity, we would hope Capt. Peebles would say something like, “I’ve got nowhere to hide, and no excuses. I simply should have done better. But I promise voters that I will. Voting is the most basic and important of civic duties, and too often I have failed to uphold my end of the bargain.”

That would have been more of a stand-up answer, the kind of take-the-bullet chutzpah we need from our sheriff, and the kind of no-nonsense, up-front accountability we’ve become accustomed to from longtime and retiring Sheriff Ronnie Strength.

Of course, Peebles’ voting record is simply sterling compared to several of his opponents’: Richard Roundtree voted 39 percent of the time, while Michael Godowns has voted twice since registering in 2006 – an anemic 13 percent clip.

Voters will decide for themselves whether this information on all the candidates, which appeared in the June 10 Chronicle and is still at www.augustachronicle.com, in any way disqualifies them.

We would only say that we expect better from those who seek our votes. Voting is not only the most important and basic function of citizenship in a free society, as we mentioned, but it’s also as easy as ordering a pizza – often faster, and always 100 percent less expensive. You show up, prove your identity and make a few marks on a touch-screen computer and go.

As far as not having information on an election: Rubbish. There’s never been more information out there – spoon-fed or not. It’s incumbent on us to inform ourselves.

In addition, voting is no longer confined to Election Day. Voting in the area’s July 21 election, for instance, begins at certain locations July 9. Absentee ballots are available by mail, fax or e-mail, and the application is even online.

What more do you want? A limo ride to the polls?

Fact is, we’ve probably made voting too easy. As columnist Star Parker noted on this page Tuesday:

“Recently, Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., appeared on Chris Matthews’ Hardball show and, in discussion about voter ID laws, he said that voting should be as easy as ‘getting a glass of fresh water’.”

Notwithstanding the fact that someone has already worked to get you that fresh water, Lewis is wrong still.

“A free society will soon not be free,” writes Parker, “if the citizens in it see their freedom as something that should arrive effortlessly, free of personal responsibility, like the appearance of the morning sun.”

It’s well and good that we should be required to put out an ounce of effort to vote.

And that those who would lead us would do the same.

Comments (33) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Riverman1
84133
Points
Riverman1 06/18/12 - 06:39 am
8
0
"Of course, Peebles’ voting

"Of course, Peebles’ voting record is simply sterling compared to several of his opponents’: Richard Roundtree voted 39 percent of the time, while Michael Godowns has voted twice since registering in 2006 – an anemic 13 percent clip."

Good editorial, however Peebles didn't vote more than several opponents, only those two and that's counting Republicans and Democrats.

desertcat6
1140
Points
desertcat6 06/18/12 - 06:46 am
4
0
Unless we remake the

Unless we remake the Constitution or revamp our Selective Service laws, our freedom comes without a cost to the individual unless the individual decides to put a price on it. Many go through life without having ever serving thier country, state, county or city, or volunteering with a non-profit serving thier community outside some highschool service project. I don't believe there should be a link between some type of qualified service and the right to vote, but I do believe in the value of such service. As far as voting percentages and candidates go, it is what it is. I could see it mattering more for mayor or county commissioner than sheriff, judge or other position - especially if its thier first election.

Finally, yes, voting is very easy. Too easy. There are eight dates published for my county. Early voting does start on JUL 9th for the 31 JUL election. Sadly, there is nothing on the Columbia Board of Elections website that indicates what will be on the ballot. All it says is Upcoming Election: General Primary/Non-Partisan/Special Election July 31, 2012. The state of Georgia shows the qualified candidates for state positions at http://qual.sos.state.ga.us/qualifyingindex.asp.

Yes, voting is easy, but how easy is it to actually find out what will be on the ballot and when? Voting starts in about three weeks...

DuhJudge
206
Points
DuhJudge 06/18/12 - 07:18 am
4
0
Just the beginning of shaping

Just the beginning of shaping the vote. Notice which candidates will not see their names in print, pro or con. Readers keep your head on.

Riverman1
84133
Points
Riverman1 06/18/12 - 07:51 am
6
2
What rank is Roundtree? I'm

What rank is Roundtree? I'm curious because it wasn't used with his name.

But I wouldn't be too hard on Capt. Scott Peebles for not voting often enough. He actually bragged lots about going to DC to work for Obama's inaguration. That shows a considerable amount of pride in his support of his candidate.

seenitB4
87395
Points
seenitB4 06/18/12 - 08:04 am
4
0
Shaping the vote

You are killing me AC.....step by step you lead the voter into the corral.....giddy-up go.......I guess that ole Roundtree gotcha worried some...heh...

What about the Reps. in this race----their voting was ??????

Well anyway......RUN FREDDIE RUN!!!

Riverman1
84133
Points
Riverman1 06/18/12 - 08:22 am
4
0
From the Chronicle:

From the Chronicle: "Democratic candidate and longtime Deputy John Ivey had the highest rate among the sheriff’s candidates, voting in 82 percent of 33 elections for which he was eligible. Freddie Sanders, a lawyer and former sheriff’s deputy who also served as Richmond County police chief from 1983 to 1985, followed, voting in 64 percent of 28 elections."

Dudeness
1544
Points
Dudeness 06/18/12 - 09:24 am
4
0
I've seen where Scott Peebles

I've seen where Scott Peebles said he was at the Obama inauguration, but I can't find more information than that. Is there a link to him saying that he helped with it? I find it far more difficult to find good information on local candidates.

Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 06/18/12 - 09:26 am
4
0
Citizenship ...

requires work.

Maybe that's why so few residents practice it.

dichotomy
33045
Points
dichotomy 06/18/12 - 09:38 am
8
2
Reconsidering.

"He actually bragged lots about going to DC to work for Obama's inaguration."

Sorry Scott, that's a deal breaker for me. This kind of goes along with the fact that I cannot watch George Clooney movies anymore. I'm sure it's a plus for you considering the demographics but it kind of turned my stomach. I personaly think a sheriff should be apolitical so this, for me, would be an indicator of judgement and philosophy. I was not aware you were such an avid Obama supporter.

Khan'tB4Real
948
Points
Khan'tB4Real 06/18/12 - 11:40 am
3
2
The most telling two paragraphs in this are:
Unpublished

The most telling two paragraphs in this are:

"Given another opportunity, we would hope Capt. Peebles would say something like, “I’ve got nowhere to hide, and no excuses. I simply should have done better. But I promise voters that I will. Voting is the most basic and important of civic duties, and too often I have failed to uphold my end of the bargain.”"

"That would have been more of a stand-up answer, the kind of take-the-bullet chutzpah we need from our sheriff, and the kind of no-nonsense, up-front accountability we’ve become accustomed to from longtime and retiring Sheriff Ronnie Strength."

Therein lies the problem. So many people associate Peebles as being the next Sheriff Strength and that just is NOT going to happen. Their philosophies on honesty and integrity couldn't be further at the opposite ends of the spectrum.

Some people may not always like Sheriff Strength on every topic but you get what you see with him. He doesn't talk out both sides of his mouth to try and appease everyone.

Unlike Peebles who has sidestepped every single negative things that has been brought up about his character, or lack thereof. His team of "wannabe" high ranking officials in law enforcement (of course without the hard work and dedication needed to EARN that rank) call any and all comments about Peebles lies, untruths, rumors, misfacts, and whatever rubbish they can think of.

I for one am glad that the AC FINALLY printed something negative for a change. Thank you Editorial Staff.

Khan'tB4Real
948
Points
Khan'tB4Real 06/18/12 - 11:48 am
3
1
My favorite line out of this:
Unpublished

My favorite line out of this:

"... but it’s also as easy as ordering a pizza –" ...

If they only knew the irony in this one piece of the sentence ... how truly funny it is!

Riverman1
84133
Points
Riverman1 06/18/12 - 02:11 pm
4
1
Bigger Issues with Top Two Candidates

If only how little they voted were the only questionable matter with the top two contenders.

OJP
6669
Points
OJP 06/18/12 - 04:39 pm
0
3
"Fact is, we’ve probably made voting too easy."

What a ridiculous thing to print. Voting should as easy as possible.

I'm unfortunately not shocked that the ACES would throw democracy under the bus in order to benefit conservative ideologies (as voting restrictions overwhelmingly have the effect of making it harder for Democrats, etc., to vote).

KSL
130048
Points
KSL 06/18/12 - 04:48 pm
3
0
OJP, why is voting harder

OJP, why is voting harder for Democrats? That is ridiculous.

OJP
6669
Points
OJP 06/18/12 - 05:01 pm
1
3
@KSL

I didn't say it was; I said voting restrictions overwhelmingly have the effect of making it harder for Democrats, etc., to vote.

Additional hurdles to exercising the right to vote disproportionately affect minorities, students, and the poor. And minorities, students, and the poor tend to vote for Democrats.

CobaltGeorge
159351
Points
CobaltGeorge 06/18/12 - 05:07 pm
2
0
OJT

What! are you saying that Democats should not have to show an ID card?

OJP
6669
Points
OJP 06/18/12 - 05:08 pm
1
4
@CobaltGeorge

No - I haven't really settled on what I believe is an appropriate balance between protecting the right to vote and preventing voter fraud. However, since there is still basically zero evidence of the latter, it is obvious that such restrictions are an attempt to game the system (and every American should resist that).

What I'm saying is that restrictions tend to discourage voters who tend to vote for Democrats.

OJP
6669
Points
OJP 06/18/12 - 05:13 pm
0
1
Study

Here is the full study from the New York University School of Law:

http://brennan.3cdn.net/92635ddafbc09e8d88_i3m6bjdeh.pdf

And here is a link to a page with a summary:

http://www.brennancenter.org/content/resource/voting_law_changes_in_2012

CobaltGeorge
159351
Points
CobaltGeorge 06/18/12 - 05:14 pm
3
0
The ID card has been hash out

The ID card has been hash out a million times..and I will not start to rehash it. An ID card is easy to get..Period..

NO ID CARD, NO VOTE ...Rep or Dem...and that is a Period.

If it saves just one fraudulent vote...it is worth it.

CobaltGeorge
159351
Points
CobaltGeorge 06/18/12 - 05:19 pm
3
0
Then every person that

Then every person that doesn't have an ID Card should never be allow to have access to anything that requires an ID.

OJP
6669
Points
OJP 06/18/12 - 05:20 pm
1
5
@CobaltGeorge

What if it doesn't prevent even one fraudulent vote, but restricts just one legitimate vote?

OJP
6669
Points
OJP 06/18/12 - 05:24 pm
0
2
@CobaltGeorge

It's a cost/benefit issue. The cost of voter restrictions is preventing legitimate voters from voting. The benefit is preventing illegitimate voters from voting.

There is ample evidence of the former; little to none of the latter. Therefore, if you value the right to vote, this is a no-brainer.

CobaltGeorge
159351
Points
CobaltGeorge 06/18/12 - 05:24 pm
3
1
OJT

I can guarantee you beyond a reasonable doubt ......It would. Past voting reviews of elections have shown many fraudulent votes.

OJP
6669
Points
OJP 06/18/12 - 05:25 pm
0
2
@CobaltGeorge

Evidence, please.

I have provided evidence that voting restrictions prevent legitimate voters from voting. Your turn.

KSL
130048
Points
KSL 06/18/12 - 07:36 pm
3
0
Oj, don't you find it odd

Oj, don't you find it odd that as of January 1 Tennessee requires a picture id to vote, an experimental program launched and mandated by DHS? Check it out. In the meantime, Holder and the DOJ continues with a suit preventing that in SC.

DHS = Dept. of Homeland Security. Love to be a fly on the wall listening to Holder and Nepolitano discuss this.

HighSociety
1840
Points
HighSociety 06/18/12 - 06:40 pm
5
0
If you are not able to do a

If you are not able to do a simple thing like obtain an ID, then you shouldn't be able to vote.

KSL
130048
Points
KSL 06/18/12 - 06:58 pm
2
0
OJ, some time back I read

OJ, some time back I read about an election where proven fraud did change an election outcome. I believe it was a local election. It does happen. Nevada has thousands of illegals registered to vote. VA has one of the highest incidents of voter fraud in the US.

When I was in high school, the voter registration people came to the school to register us. And if poor people want to get government freebies, they somehow manage to find a way to get that picture id. The real truth against a picture id to vote is the desire to get out the fraudulent vote, if needed.

KSL
130048
Points
KSL 06/18/12 - 06:59 pm
1
0
Not a local election around

Not a local election around here.

HighSociety
1840
Points
HighSociety 06/18/12 - 07:16 pm
3
0
I'm surprised we don't

I'm surprised we don't provide everyone with a free ID. Folks are entitled to just about everything else free. Housing, meals, cell phones, free checks, etc..why stop there. Just print out a new one every year. Looks like soon we may be able to get free weed also. Im sure someone will come up with a reason why they have to have it.

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs