News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


People actually do vote, so be part of the process

Information published last month suggests that apathy among American voters is greatly exaggerated.

While the percentage of eligible voters going to the polls has dropped, it is because less than half the 18-year-olds who started voting in 1972 actually vote. The inclusion of younger voters in the eligibility pool gives a false impression that voting interest continues to ebb. Only 47 percent of those eligible actually voted two years ago.

At the other end of the spectrum, in the 2004 presidential election, 73 percent of the people age 65 to 74 voted. Also encouraging is the Census Bureau finding that people tend to vote more often as they age. For instance, 56 percent of eligible voters between the ages of 25 and 34 voted two years ago.

So why talk about whos voting and whos not? Its psychological. Talk of apathy at the polls tends to discourage people from voting. Talk of the interest in voting and more people will show up to cast ballots. They want to be included.

Here in Alabama, some polls say that Gov. Bob Riley will win a landslide re-election today. Some say that Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley will make it a closer race than the 59-31 split that a poll released Saturday said favors the governor.

The same poll showed newcomer Luther Strange with 50 percent of the votes for lieutenant governor over former Gov. Jim Folsom Jr., with 39 percent.

Mr. Folsom said private polls show him leading.

Then there are the attorney general, chief justice of the Supreme Court, and other races that the margin of error makes too close to call.

Campaigns that started nearly a year ago, and plans laid much earlier, all come to a head today when voters across the state and nation vote.

Dont allow the polls or talk of lack of interest influence whether you vote. The elections are not over until the final voter casts a ballot.

Go vote!

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