Lynn Jones, Clerk of
As the Chief Elections Official for Calcasieu Parish I am always vigilant about voter turnout. Recent numbers have been very poor and continue to decline as pollsters point to voter apathy or other reasons why citizens remain at home on Election Day. As more elections are decided by closer and closer margins, I am hopeful citizens will recognize that "every vote counts" is not just a cliche anymore. We must recognize the importance of voting in every election.
I believe voting is about personal responsibility. We are oftentimes responsible for those things which affect the quality of our life. We even have the opportunity to change it, sometimes for the better, and we don't. The right to vote is an important right in a free society. We must always make certain that our voices are heard. Our decisions may not just have an impact on our lives but that of our children and grandchildren. We owe them a society where they can live and enjoy the freedoms we may take for granted. We must never look back on those things we wish were different if we have not cast a vote in an effort to make a difference.
Bill Vaughan once said that "a citizen of America will cross the ocean to fight for democracy, but won't cross the street to vote in a national election". Vaughan's words could be considered prophetic considering the times we are living in this day and age. But we will be an America who will cross the street to vote because we know the price that was paid for the privilege. We know the importance. There are many countries where a person does not have a choice, and I'm sure they would gladly change places with us for the fundamental privilege of voting.
Deep is the imprint of apathy and complacency in the history of many election results. Voter turnout for the November 7 election was higher than the previous election so we are headed in the right direction to change that. Educate yourself about the issues and the candidates. You will be amazed to find out how much on the ballot affects you and your family. Don't underestimate its importance to your quality of life.
As you know, being a good citizen in a democracy involves more than just voting. I urge all of you to continue to work to influence others to first be informed and then to VOTE.