If you’ve ever been involved in clubs and organizations, you’re probably familiar with the old joke about what happens if you miss a meeting.
That’s right. As the story goes, absent members are the most likely to be elected or appointed to a position of responsibility because they weren’t on hand to represent their own interests.
There’s more humor than truth here, of course, but the story does make a good point — those who show up are the ones who get to make the key decisions.
That’s the way elections work. The people who get involved and participate in the system are the ones who pick the winners.
Sure, your vote is only one of many, and it’s easy to think your opinion doesn’t count, that one ballot more or less doesn’t make a difference.
But nothing could be further from the truth. Every vote counts, and in some cases, one or two votes have changed the outcome of elections.
We often hear people complain they have no voice in government, that those in power don’t care enough to listen to their opinions.
Yet, when the polls close and the votes are counted, the total is typically far below the number of eligible voters. In some recent elections, the number of votes cast was downright embarrassing.
Voter apathy is a dangerous force. It begins one person at a time.
All it takes is to become convinced that your opinion doesn’t matter and to stay home — away from the polls.
Sure, that’s only one vote. But based on recent elections, you can multiply that by thousands — those who fail to register in the first place added to all of those who were too lazy to vote.
In our view, the first step to having a voice in government is to vote. If you want officials to care about your opinion, get involved in the system and help make a difference.
Make sure your vote counts in the March 4 primary elections. Early voting continues through Friday, so there’s really no excuse not to vote.
You can find a list of early polling places at www.votedenton.com, along with other valuable information provided by the folks at the Denton County Elections Administration. If you don’t see what you need there, call the office at 940-349-3200.
The website also has a guide to finding your precinct and polling place for election day voting.
A lot of key races are on Tuesday’s ballot, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to play a role in the decision-making process.
And don’t forget — Texas law now requires voters to present photo identification to cast a ballot. Acceptable identification cards include a Texas driver’s license, an election identification certificate, personal identification card, concealed handgun license, U.S. military identification card containing the person’s photograph, U.S. citizenship certificate containing the person’s photograph or a U.S. passport.
Time is running out, but you can still make sure that your vote counts. The polls will be open for a little while longer for early voting and from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday.
We hope to see you there.