There’s no excuse not to vote

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We know you’ve been busy.

Spring (yes, it is spring, although last week’s temperatures may have tempted some to double-check their calendars) is a season that is literally blooming with activities. Garden centers are typically crowded as homeowners prepare to plant and cultivate, and area parks and recreation facilities are popular destinations.

Family schedules are usually filled with various athletic events, from soccer to tennis to softball and baseball. The school year is winding to a close, which means the kids are involved in a flurry of activities, and they seem to always need transportation.

And we’re not forgetting the bevy of entertainment options available at this time of year. Denton, for example, just played host to its second outdoor festival in as many weekends, and there are plenty of other fun activities from which to choose.

Yes, it’s a busy season. There’s just not enough time in the day to do everything we need or want to do — which is why we can understand why you may not have voted in your city and school elections.

How do we know you haven’t voted? Well, to be perfectly honest, we can’t be certain you haven’t cast a ballot — Denton County elections administrator Frank Phillips told us Friday that a few civic-minded folks have made the trek to a polling place.

But the number of votes that had been cast at the time we checked on Saturday was still so small, so embarrassingly small, that we were a little shocked — and we’ve been covering local elections for quite a long time.

We realize that local elections don’t typically have the pull that national races do, even though local officials can have a much greater impact on your life — and pocketbook — than the people in Washington do.

Local issues are important, but unless something changes quickly, it looks like a lot of city and school races will be decided by a small — very small — percentage of registered voters.

That’s a shame, and it should never happen. Considering the comfortable period of time allotted and the generous number of polling places available for early voting, every person in the county should be able to find a convenient time and place to cast a ballot.

And we know that people are interested in local issues — after all, we hear enough of them complain about taxes, decisions made by their city councils and school boards and other topics. If complaints were votes, every election would have a record turnout.

Residents can’t plead ignorance as an excuse not to vote because officials make it absurdly easy to find early polling places. All you have to do is visit http://elections.dentoncounty.com to find a list, maps and photos of the various locations.

During early voting, you can cast a ballot at several county polling places, according to information on the website, although on Election Day, you’ll be required to vote at the location designated for your precinct. Don’t know your precinct number? Call the Elections Office at 940-349-3200 for more information.

There are two days remaining in the period established for early voting, and hours have been extended on both days. You can vote from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday or Tuesday.

In our view, there really is no good excuse not to vote, and we encourage you to cast a ballot before early voting ends or on Saturday.

The turnout may have been disappointing so far, but we can still turn things around. There’s still time to make a difference.

Don’t let the opportunity to be a part of the decision-making process pass you by — get out and vote.


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