What’s with the apathy? Why is it we voters are so hesitant to go to the polls and cast our votes? In the recent primary October 2, in the Town of Mamou, when the mayor and all council members were up for re-election, less than 53 percent of the registered voters cast ballots.
Election laws now provide various ways for registered voters to participate in elections. A prospective voter can vote on election day or in early voting, a one-week period preceding the actual election day. The aged and infirm confined to home or residing in a nursing home can request a ballot to be mailed in, as can members of the military and persons who, for whatever reason, cannot otherwise vote during early voting or on election day. Requests for a mail-in ballot can be sent to the office of voter registration at the courthouse.
The privilege of voting and the right to a secret ballot are fundamental to the success of our American democracy. It is the method by which we select leadership and by which we express our personal philosophy about how the affairs of government should be conducted. Elected officials feel the pulse of the citizenry by the collective participation in the election process and decisions are influenced by an interpretation of this action.
There seems to be a particular reluctance on the part of young people who are reaching the legal age to register to vote and to participate in the election process. Many feel their one vote is meaningless, but when the percentage of people feeling that way is in the 40 to 50 percent range, then that obviously does make a difference.
Voting freely, i.e. without intimidation, is a process denied to the citizens of many countries. Americans are blessed with that privilege, but it does not come without cost. There are those that would gladly take that privilege away and are willing to give their lives to see that happen. We Americans are fortunate that there are many just as willing to risk their lives to ensure we continue to live freely - free to vote or not.
The general election is set for Tuesday, November 2. Early voting begins Tuesday, October 19, and ends Tuesday, October 26, at the office of voter registration in the courthouse in Ville Platte. If you will not be able to vote on either of those two occasions, call the registrar’s office at 337-363-5538 for information on other ways you can vote. Remember, it is a privilege denied to many.