Wright: Your voice is heard through your vote

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Election tensions are at their all-time high, which is nothing new in local parish politics.

After last week’s election, there has been some relief on some ends, but the major races are not over. The Oct. 24 primary is out of our way, and the residents of St. John made several bold statements on who they wanted to represent their parish and their best interests for the next four years.

We are familiar with our constitutional rights and sometimes end up in many debates over them.

“Freedom of speech,” “free exercise” of religion, “the right to keep and bear arms,” but what about “the right to vote?” The most important part of the democratic process is casting your vote.

Elections are not a popularity contest; voting is about making an informed decision on a candidate after you’ve educated yourself on their platforms, without getting distracted by the smoke and mirrors and political grandstanding.

Your vote is a representation of your views and your voice in whom you want and who you trust to represent you and your government. Anyone can support or oppose a candidate or put out as many signs as they want in their yard, but at the end of the day, no matter how many political statements we’ve made on our Facebook page, until we cast our vote we have become ineffective as a society.

St. John had around a 50 percent voter turnout, which means only 50 percent of the registered voters in our parish came out to let their voices be heard.

Our electorate will consist of and represent the views of the majority of those individuals that cast their vote. Remember, election season is not over. We have a very important election on Nov. 21.

For a candidate to win, they need 50 percent of the turnout plus one vote. Your vote does matter. The future of our state and parish is in our hands, let’s get out and VOTE.

Dates to remember:

• Early voting is Nov. 7-14.

• The deadline to request a mail ballot is Nov. 17.

• The deadline for the Registrar to receive a mail ballot is Nov. 20.

• ELECTION DAY is Nov. 21.

Michael P. Wright is St. John the Baptist Parish Council chairman and District 5 representative. Contact him at District5@sjbparish.com.