Originally created 08/08/06

Make it count



You know there's an election today, right?

OK, let's tackle those nagging why-you-don't-vote excuses one at a time.

1. It doesn't make a difference.

Really. Well, sometimes elections are decided by only a few people. We had one Augusta Commission race decided by 11 votes last year. A dozen people sitting at home thinking they wouldn't have made a difference could have made a big difference.

Afterward, local hospitals reported a rash of injuries from people kicking themselves.

Moreover, in a primary runoff election such as today's, the opportunity to make a difference is magnified many times by the low turnout: When only 5 to 10 percent of voters come out - as Board of Elections Director Lynn Bailey sadly predicts for today - a few people can make a huge difference.

2. It's an inconvenience or takes too long.

Let's take the latter first: It won't take but a couple minutes, and only seconds once you get to voting. There won't be many lines today, for sure.

As for the former - that it's an inconvenience: Have we become so lazy in 21st century America that we can't lift a finger to help the country or the community along by acting like involved citizens once in awhile? Let's hope not.

3. Politics bores me; I don't know whom to vote for anyway.

Well, for one thing, politics is about what you believe; it's about shaping your community and country. How can that possibly be boring? Besides, if you've ever actively supported a candidate or hung around a campaign headquarters on election night, you'd never call it boring.

As for knowing whom to vote for, the evidence is all around you. The media have reported on various races extensively. And most voters are getting more mailings and calls than they know what to do with.

We at the Chronicle editorial department are privileged to meet most of the candidates, and often make endorsements - except that we normally don't do so in primary races, allowing the parties to nominate whomever they choose.

But occasionally there's no general-election opposition, and we step in and speak our piece in the primary. That's the case with today's primary runoff in state representative District 122. We are excited to endorse the Rev. Hardie Davis. He is an energetic young pastor in south Augusta who is already deeply involved in civic and spiritual life - and who will raise the city's level of representation in Atlanta.

Please vote for Hardie Davis for District 122 representative.

But for goodness' sake, please vote.