So we come to it at last. Election day is tomorrow (at least this round of the process) and today, newspapers across Louisiana are publishing some of their final coverage leading up to the big event.
Be sure to turn to pages 8 and 9 of today's Press-Herald for a complete sample ballot of what's on tap for tomorrow. Use the information, as well as the items we have published in recent weeks, to help you make an informed decision on the merits of each candidate and/or proposition.
All elections are important, but tomorrow's has special significance. Not only will we be electing a governor but locally we will choose a new state representative and decide who is calling the shots in the sheriff's office.
To say tomorrow's election is important is simply an understatement. That's why it is so crucial that you vote.
Sadly, though, a great many of you will not.
So-called experts are saying approximately 50 percent of registered voters will head to the polls and cast ballots. We have become so discouraged by low voter turnout in the past, that many are seeing this 50 percent number as great news. We don't. Especially when you consider the number of people who are eligible to vote and choose no to do so.
And, when you consider the number of people who are not even registered to vote, it should reveal a glaring problem – a minority of people in Louisiana will be making some of the most important decisions in our state's history. Less than 50 percent of those who could vote won't even bother this time around. In fact, it is quite possible that more people in Louisiana voted for their favorite couple on Dancing with the Stars this week than will cast ballots tomorrow.
Some voters are disgusted with the entire political process. The mudslinging and perhaps the quality of the candidates have turned them off. From the plethora of direct mail pieces that arrive daily, to newspaper, television and radio ads, voters could be suffering from information overload.
Others are simply apathetic. They think, "The government doesn't really affect my daily life." While the truth is 180 degrees from that statement, it is nonetheless the sentiment.
We have one thing to say to all these people, "Get over it." Failure to participate in the process will not solve a single thing. Griping about government and not taking even the smallest step to do something about it is a cop out. Every vote counts, period.
We claim voting to be a right or a privilege. That is the wrong attitude as well. Voting is the responsibility of all citizens.
This may sound harsh, but it seems the lackadaisical attitude toward this process is infuriating.
As I enter my precinct tomorrow, I will take with me a sample ballot with all my carefully considered choices, knowing that I have met my obligation to move my city, this state and our nation forward.
I ask that all readers do the same. This isn't about party. This is about responsibility to country.
Josh Beavers is the publisher of the Minden Press-Herald.