As American citizens, we are given the right to vote for the people who we think will best represent us and our communities. Some people choose not to vote, for whatever reason.
My opinion is that if you're registered to vote, you should. Too often, we let a small group of people vote in the person who is responsible for creating the budgets that raise or lower taxes, or who decide whether we go to war. I know that's two extremes, but it seems to be what gets people riled up lately.
There's a story in today's Post-Journal about how one of our county's Election Commissioners giving an estimate about voter turn-out:
As residents around Chautauqua County make their way to the polls today, the county Election Commission’s expectations are relatively low for voter turnout.After I read that and looked at the snow flying outside the window at home, I got worried. Lake Snow Warnings generally don't bode well for voter turn-out.
Election Commissioners Terry Niebel and Norman Green said that they are expecting about 40 percent or less turnout in Chautauqua County.
‘‘It should be a normal off-year election,’’ Green said. ‘‘We expect a heavier turnout in Jamestown and Dunkirk with a less heavy turnout in the rural areas.’’
Niebel said that there are a number of factors which weigh on turnout for today’s election.
‘‘In the cities (Jamestown and Dunkirk), most races are contested,’’ he said. ‘‘That is not the case in many of the rural areas.’’
He also explained that the lack of countywide races, and the fact that many judicial candidates are endorsed by both major parties contributes to the relatively low expectation of voter turnout.
Niebel also encouraged people to check out www.votechautauqua.com for up-to-the-minute election results.
‘‘As soon as we get results, we put them on the site,’’ Niebel said. ‘‘Then at the end of the night we recheck the data and spend Wednesday through Friday rechecking the machines.’’
The polls will open countywide today at 6 a.m. and close at 9 p.m. Any residents with questions about their polling place or the election in general can call the Chautauqua County Elections Board at 661-7580.
Please use the voice that you're given. Vote today.