You didn’t have time?

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Today is Election Day. So is tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that and Oct. 22! Yes, there are FIVE days left to vote for the future of Louisiana and our local community. Why vote? Bush beat Gore even though Gore got more votes, right? Does it really even matter? One vote doesn’t make a difference, right? WRONG!

In modern America, there is no reason for a person to not have the time to vote. Early voting days are spread over an entire week in addition to the actual election day. So, when you leave the house today, take five minutes to stop by the local courthouse before 5 p.m. and vote early. Everyone from governor to the local district council member is on the ballot, and all of them affect your life in some way.

Historically, there have been many reasons people could not vote: racist, sexist and inconvenience reasons. Polls used to open and close at odd hours, and in order to absentee vote, a registered voter had to sign an affidavit stating that they were really going to be out of town on election day. Even worse, blacks, poor whites, and women were not allowed to vote in America as late as the 1960s and even later in some parts of the South. When we don’t vote because we “didn’t have time” or “didn’t feel like it,” we are insulting the work, suffering and sometimes death of those who came before us. Thousands suffered, and many died fighting for the right to do what nearly 50 percent of Americans don’t “have time for,” voting. Veterans, civil rights activists and women’s suffrage proponents knew the importance of casting a vote to determine their future. Do you?

I would like to ask those who choose not to vote, “What in the world – besides an emergency – could be more important than choosing the leaders of your country, state, and community?” The governor decides how much money goes to health care and the education systems. The president and Congress can send your child to war. Our locally elected officials decide what rates you pay for basic services and your safety during a disaster is in the hands of your locally elected officials. Finally, something as simple as whether or not your child has a safe place to play after school is up to the men and women who will get elected on Oct. 22.

So, make those who fought for the right to vote proud. Decide the kind of future your child will enjoy. Choose your elected leaders wisely because if you don’t, who will?

The last bite…

Two dozen grilled oysters from Drago’s in Fat City, piping hot and dripping with herbed cheesy butter sauce with a massive loaf of bread for dipping! The first dozen were dry, but the second dozen more than made up for it. I don’t know which was better, the fresh Louisiana oysters or the excitement of dipping the French bread in the pool of baked parmesean and butter at the bottom of the oyster shell? I give dipping bread in hot cheesy butter 5 (out of 5) crumbs!

Buddy Boe, a resident of Garyville, owns a public relations and program management company and is well known on the local political (and food) scenes. His column appears Wednesdays in L’Observateur.