Our View: We have a dream:
October 1, 2008
Craig is known as the Elk Hunting Capital of the World, which is a grand distinction.
We think there is another distinction that our home should work toward claiming: the voter registration and turnout capital of Colorado and the United States.
It doesn’t take much time to get registered to vote – which is good because time is running out fast. There are only five more days before the deadline, Oct. 6, to get registered to be eligible to vote in the Nov. 4 general election.
We know you’re sick of the election already. We know all of the campaign commercials are driving you crazy. We know you can’t wait for Thanksgiving, when the election will be decided and behind us (at least, we sure hope so).
But the question that we can’t ignore – and you shouldn’t either – is, as a county, are we willing to accept a low registration or turnout percentage?
Our answer: Absolutely not.
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We could harp about whether this election will be just a popularity contest or not (as a board, we did), whether its results will truly change this country or not (ditto), which candidate is better-qualified or flip-flops the least (we get stuck on this constantly), or who is right or wrong about specific issues (yep, that, too), but we decided it was more important to challenge everyone to look past all that and participate.
However, the only way participation makes sense is if we truly engage as citizens. That means registering to vote, informing ourselves about those decisions, and then voting.
We can squabble over single issues ’til the cows come home, or we can get a grasp of the broad spectrum of issues and be responsible citizens. Many of us already do this regularly, at least every four years, if not every two or every election. This message is directed to those who do not or have not participated in a long time, those who have not yet registered to vote or checked to make sure their registration is valid.
To everyone who has not registered, why not?
It takes a very small amount of time; you do not have to declare affiliation with a political party; and there is no obligation to donate money or be political. It’s as simple as filling out a form and dropping it in the mail (available online at http://www.craigdailypress.com/news/election_2008), or just stop by the county clerk’s office, or another registration location.
To everyone who is registered and does vote, encourage anyone you know to get registered and then to vote. Be a leader on this issue for all of your friends, neighbors and relatives.
More than 140 years ago, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony had a dream that everyone should be able to vote, man or woman, so they formed the American Equal Rights Association to work for universal suffrage. Today, a woman has a chance to be elected vice president.
Forty years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. had a very famous dream: that all men were created equal. Today, a man of African American heritage has a chance to be elected president.
Today, we have a dream: that Moffat County will one day be known as the Voter Registration and Voter Turnout Capital of the United States.
Is that too much to ask?
Plenty of people never thought the first two dreams would come true. At least one of them will. If you register and vote, years from now, you’ll be able to say of this historic election, “I was there, and I voted.”
We think our dream has a shot if Moffat County residents will simply believe in our country enough to participate by registering and then voting.