Monday, May 17, 2010

Whty Local Elections Matter

I voted today. It was local election. We visited for two Selectman, a housing authority member, and a few board of health members. I know it was only a town election, but town elections ensure that Belchertown pays its community transit fees, has good housing programs, and a really good school system. Therefore, town elections are vital to every citizen’s well-being.

Sadly, not every member of my community sees it that way. I voted at just past 12:30. According to the election worker, I was voter 115 in my precinct of about 2,300! That’s a 20% return My good friend Ken Elstein, who is even more of a political animal than I am, who was at the polls today garnering support for Dave Sullivan, a Democrat who’s running for District Attorney told me there have been years where the total voter turnout was 800 for the entire town!

I’m fanatical about voting. While I will allow a lot of political divergence between myself and any romantic partner I have, I can’t imagine myself being happily attached to a committed “non-voter”. Bring a disabled, person of color who happens to be a woman, too many people have tried to separate me from that ballot box and democracy. I’ve never, in my life, missed an election in which I was eligible to vote. I don’t plan to, either. It just isn’t part of my character.

By the time I post this, it will be about 6:45. If you live in Belchertown, you’ll have 1 hour an 15 minutes to do your civic duty at the high school at 142 Springfield Road. If you don’t live here, make sure you vote in your own local election. Democracy, even just local Democracy, doesn’t just ask us to participate everyday. Election days are special and we should rejoice and participate therein.

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