Now that the campaign season is entering the final five weeks, there will be a huge increase in the TV ads, mail pieces and other campaign activity—all meant to persuade voters to vote one way or another. It’s the homestretch and things are going to be ramping up.
However you may choose to vote, the most important thing you do go vote! Not just because so many men and women have given their lives for that very privilege, but also because, especially this year, at the state and local levels votes matter.
Those votes will ultimately decide whom we send to Montgomery to be our voice and look out for our best interests. Some people may think that one vote can’t change anything or that your particular vote won’t matter. But that’s just not true.
This year, statewide turnout in the primaries was the lowest it has been in decades. If turnout is anywhere near that low on Nov. 4th for the general election, then you can rest assured that every single vote will make an impact.
And this is an important election with so much at stake! Whether it’s creating jobs, supporting our schools, creating a state lottery or any number of other issues, there are some pretty bog differences and between the candidates. And the only way you can change things or make them better is if you vote.
Voting doesn’t guarantee that you can make a difference. But if you don’t vote then you definitely can’t make a difference. As any coach will tell you, you can’t win a football game if you never take the field. It’s the same with politics. You won’t be heard if you don’t vote.
And now is the time to make your voice heard!
Over the last four years, Alabama has led the nation in cuts to our public schools. Our schools have been under constant assault from Montgomery politicians who now say they want to take more money out of the Education Trust Fund and use it to pad the General Fund. In other words, they are basically balancing the state’s budgets on the backs of our children. We cannot afford to send more politicians to Montgomery who will treat our children’s education money as their get out of jail free card to avoid tough budget decisions.
And unfortunately, school budget cuts aren’t our only problem: Our job growth has been dismal. The campaign promises from four years ago about new jobs just haven’t materialized, so now state leaders are running away from their record. You won’t hear them talk much about what they’ve done over the past four years. Why would they? If I had their record I’d probably run away from it too!
There is so much at stake in this election. But we can make a change and get our state back on track. It all starts with your vote. Your vote can make the difference between more of the same or moving in a new direction. Your vote can mean the difference between bringing good-paying jobs to Alabama versus continuing to be stagnant. Your vote can mean the difference between giving our schools the support they deserve or continuing to make public education and educators enemy number one.
The only way to make a change is for you to go vote.
Rep. Craig Ford is a Democrat from Gadsden and the Minority Leader in the Alabama House of Representatives.