The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

May 5, 2013

Go vote!

— Regardless of how you plan to vote in the upcoming May 11 election, the important thing is that you vote.

After all, there are some big decisions facing Greenville voters, including a city council place, a $12 million road bond and a $15 million YMCA bond.

And other races throughout the county will decide everything from school board races to the sale of alcoholic beverages.

The right to vote is one that has been fought for by our ancestors, one that they took very seriously. We gained our initial freedom to vote from the British through the Revolutionary War. Then came the women’s suffrage movement of the early 20th century, and finally the civil rights movement of the 1960s to secure voting rights for all eligible adult citizens.

But today voters take their hard-won right to vote lightly. In national elections, less than half of registered voters vote, unless it’s a presidential election, where the number is usually between 50 and 60 percent.

Locally, early voting numbers are traditionally strong. But total voting numbers are not impressive, especially in municipal elections. In fact, last year, there was a local municipal race that received a little more than 100 votes.

Voters have a much larger impact on local races than national ones, and the officials elected in local elections have a huge impact on our daily lives. These two Greenville bond elections will impact our quality of life and our tax rates.

The importance of voting is a common refrain that everyone from teachers to pastors emphasizes. But somehow, in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, we either forget or get too busy to care. And that is a real shame.

Too many people fought too hard for us to ignore this important civic act. And, on May 11, too much is at stake. So hit the voting booths, and encourage your family and friends to do the same.

Early voting continues through May 7 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays at the Hunt County Voter Administration Office, located at 2217A Washington Street in Greenville. Election Day is May 11, and voting hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The opinion expressed here is that of the Herald-Banner editorial board. The board can be contacted at