|Casting ballot a key tenet of citizenship in democracy|
On a November day back in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln stated that we have a “government of the people, by the people, and for the people.” That statement still rings true today as the involvement of the people in our form of government is still critical to its success. Citizens should be attentive, informed, and invested in the community. As important, they should go to the polls to express their wishes through the voting process.
I believe that the importance of voting cannot be emphasized enough. It is a right that we, as citizens of the United States of America, should never take for granted. As we look at the political unrest and volatile economies found throughout the world, the importance associated with our right, and responsibility, to vote becomes even more clear. However, time and again, a lower than expected percentage of eligible voters participate in elections. Studies conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau have shown that people don’t vote due to their busy lives or illnesses or family emergencies. Sadly, another often cited reason was that non-voters simply didn’t feel their vote would make a difference.
Despite the responsibilities and distractions of everyday life, all registered voters should make voting a priority. That is why, as the county’s largest employer, Gwinnett County Public Schools, has made every effort to make its employees aware of the importance of going to the polls to vote. Feb. 5, 2008, marks the date for the Presidential Preference Primary. Gwinnett voters also will have the opportunity to vote on a GO Bond referendum to fund schools, classrooms, and instructional technology that will benefit students and teachers. I encourage you to become informed about the items on the ballot, and, then head to the polls. This is a time to show that your vote does make a difference.
J. Alvin Wilbanks