Voter apathy seems to be everywhere

Published 6:50 am Wednesday, August 2, 2000

By By Sherry Digmon
Staff Writer
A friend and I went to Savannah last week to do some sight-seeing and a little genealogy. While strolling through the historic district – which is a great way to spend an afternoon – I overheard a snippet of a conversation that I found most interesting.
A man and woman were chatting on the sidewalk and as I walked by, I heard the man say something like, "Why should people vote? There's no one to vote for. They're all the same. No wonder only 20 percent of voters go to the trouble."
And I thought as I walked by, it must be the same story everywhere. The sentiments are the same. The apathy is the same.
And armed with these conceptions and misconceptions, the majority of Americans stay away from the polls on election day, with only a small percentage of Americans making the decisions for the rest of the country.
Part of the problem lies with us – the voters. We don't bother to arm ourselves with information.
Of course there's a difference in candidates. Where do they stand on abortion? Taxes? Services for senior citizens? Prayer in school? Big government? Small government? Foreign policy? How do they view the role of government in our lives?
We tend to sit in front of the television and let the negative ads wash over us. We certainly can't base our votes on what one candidate says about the other. By the time the national election rolls around, we'll be so sickened and brow-beaten by negative ads, we'll just be ready for the whole thing to be over. And that's too bad.
Electing our leaders should be one of the noblest aspects of our society. Yet it has become one of the basest.
There is a difference in candidates. Take the time to find out what they are. Do a little research. Listen to what the candidates say about themselves and the issues – not what their opponents say.
Voting is important. We protest when we think any of our rights are being taken away. Yet we willingly give up our right to vote. We don't just give it up – we ignore it altogether.
Many of these comments refer to national politics, but much is also true on the local level. Voter turnout in the county is shameful.
Take it upon yourself to be informed.
Participate in the political forum that's coming up on Tuesday, Aug. 15, 5:30 p.m., at the Lions Community Center. If you have questions, submit them on the form found in this paper. Be there to hear what the candidates say.
Get the information you need to make informed choices. Exercise your right to vote.

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