SURRATT: Regardless of who you vote for, get out and vote
Published 4:00 am Saturday, November 4, 2023
This coming week will feature two important dates for Warren County residents.
Tuesday, Nov. 7, is Election Day; Saturday is Veterans Day.
The two days are sort of complimentary when you think about it. On Tuesday, we get to exercise one of the most important rights we have, the right to vote; an opportunity to have a say on how our local and state governments are run.
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Saturday honors the men and women who fought to keep that right and other rights — many of them still serving at bases across the world to ensure we will never lose them. I’ll say more about Veterans Day in a later column. Today, I’ll address Election Day.
Tuesday, voters will to the polls to cast their ballot in contested state races for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, district attorney and secretary of state and locally for District 1 and District 4 supervisor, sheriff and county prosecutor.
All of these races are important, and while the local races will have an impact on Warren County, the statewide races may be more important because offices like governor and lieutenant governor and the legislators we elect to represent us in Jackson can have a greater impact on not just the state but locally.
The Legislature has a hand in determining how county and city governments operate through laws requiring local boards to have balanced budgets, advertise for bids on certain projects and materials, restrict how much a board can raise millage and even what can be considered public record.
At the state level, the Legislature, governor and lieutenant governor can develop laws and policies that affect health care, the infrastructure we use and influence what our children learn in school or how competitive our colleges and universities and community college systems are nationwide for students and federal study grants.
Because of those reasons and others, this election is important and we have a lot on the line. Mississippi is at or near the bottom in many categories from education to health care, and we need to be more progressive and innovative in what we should be doing to get off the bottom of the list and begin ascending to the top.
And that’s where the voters come in. It is the choices they make Tuesday that will determine what happens in our state, whether it’s a change in administration or a close vote to scare incumbents into affecting change.
So as Tuesday approaches, take time to look at the candidates and their platforms, find out what they stand for and then go to the polls and vote. If you’re happy with the way things are going, vote for the incumbents; if you’re not happy, vote for their challengers. If you’re not happy with either side, write in your choice.
But don’t stay home Tuesday and then sit around complaining about the condition of the state.
As the old commercial said, “Vote, and the choice is yours.”