Your vote Tuesday matters

Published 9:51 am Monday, November 7, 2016

Our View

Your vote is the single greatest asset you possess as part of our democratic process. No one person’s vote counts more or less than any other.
A record breaking number of Carter Countians turned out for early voting this election — 11,547 persons and 959 persons alone on the last day of early voting. This election promises to have a record turnout.
The adage “Every vote counts” has never been more true than it will be Election Day Tuesday, Nov. 8.
Please consider: The Nov. 8 ballot calls on Carter County and Elizabethton voters to weigh in on who will serve as the next president of the United States; who will represent our city and county in the U.S. House of Representatives and State Legislature; who will occupy three seats on the Elizabethton City Council and three seats on the Elizabethton School Board.
This is an election in which Elizabethton voters can, and should, help determine the direction of our country, our school system, and our city government.
And apart from issues of policy — which are all-important, reverberating for years and influencing the futures of our children and what kind of America and what kind of community they will inherit — consider, too, that each of these levels of government has the power of taxation.
Election pluralities that determine who will hold office can be razor-thin.
An election in which Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are vying for who will be our president for the next four years is not an election to sit out.
It has been one of the meanest and nastiest elections in years. There has been name-calling, finger pointing, and accusations made by both party nominees. It has been a long election year, dating back to the primary season, and the ugliness and name-calling began before then.
Not much has been said about policies or what each candidate will do to help people who go to work every day and face the challenges of putting food on the table, educating their children, paying for healthcare, and providing jobs for the unemployed.
It’s sad that politics has become so partisan that we decide on the basis of party — whether they are Democrat or Republican — who we vote for rather than the character of the candidates and what they stand for. It is sad that in a nation as large as America, both parties could not have found better candidates. There is not much to choose from between the two major party candidates, in our opinion, but there is still a choice to be made.
It is sad that in a country as great as America that men and women who have the “smarts” and character to be president do not have the financial backing or political support needed to become president. Special interests have too much influence on our elections.
However, non-participation in this election is not an honorable option.
Three days after the election Tuesday is Veterans Day, Friday, Nov. 11.
How can we look a military veteran, or an active member of the armed forces, in the face on Nov. 11 if we do not vote on Nov. 8? If we do not do our part; if we walk away from our obligation as citizens to keep the ideals of democracy, of self-government, of freedom itself alive and strong on Nov. 8, how can we possibly say three days later that we honor the sacrifices made throughout our history to secure and preserve liberty? And to entrust that liberty to us?
When voters fail to care about whose hands will steer our government, democracy takes a hit.
We know many voters are passionate about this election, others less so. It doesn’t matter when it comes to casting a vote. A free election demands that each of us make choices.
We urge you if you did not vote early, please go to the polls Tuesday, and do so.

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