Make your vote count for our military

Published 7:56 pm Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Most of us realize that voting in a free and public election is a right afforded to only a few in the world. But it is something most Americans have taken for granted when they go to the polls on election day.

If they go at all.

Casting a ballot in elections continues to decline in the United States with voter apathy now the norm, overtaking the number of those who do decide to exercise their right of voting.

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletter

Receive daily headlines and obituaries

“During the Primary Election, little more than 13 percent of Mississippians turned out to cast a ballot,” Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said. 

It wasn’t always the case in our country decades and generations ago.

It’s a shame that people have to be encouraged to vote rather than looking forward to election day.

“Back in the day” people came out in droves to hear politicians campaign. That’s not the case any longer, but you can still hear from candidates running for public office if you take advantage of the opportunity Thursday evening when a forum is held at the Warren County Courthouse.

The Vicksburg Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., Blacks in Government and the Vicksburg Branch of the NAACP will be in the Circuit Courtroom on the second floor of the courthouse at 6 p.m. U.S. Rep. Benny Thompson (D-Mississippi) has committed to the forum, along with several local candidates seeking public office.

It’s your chance to hear what the candidates have to say face-to-face and ask them questions.

Unfortunatley, the reality is that most registered voters won’t attend. But I say to those who really believe their vote doesn’t count, to take this into consideration: Men and women have died in combat so that you can cast that ballot.

That’s why it does my heart good to see a program like “Vote in Honor of Soldier,” which is an opportunity created by the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office that allows voters to dedicate their vote to a servicemember or veteran.

Voters interested in dedicating their vote can visit the Secretary of State’s website (sos.ms.gov), provide their information, and post a tribute to a soldier or veteran in their lives.  In turn, the Secretary of State’s Office will send the voter a letter, Voter Information Guide, and Vote in Honor of a Soldier sticker to wear on Election Day.

“We have a second opportunity on Nov. 6 to remember the 3,200 Mississippi National Guardsmen and women who are fighting overseas for us to have the opportunity to vote,” Hosemann said. “We hope all Mississippians will take the time to honor their sacrifices and cast a ballot.”

So if you think your vote doesn’t count, at least cast a vote for the one’s who do count — our men and women in uniform.

Rob Sigler is editor of The Vicksburg Post. You may reach him at Rob.Sigler@VicksburgPost.com.