New Albany and other municipal elections are less than two weeks away.
While several races were settled in the party primaries, three local offices remain to be determined – two of them city-wide.
On June 6 we will choose our mayor for the next four years, the alderman-at-large who represents the entire city, and the Ward One alderman.
The chief of police and two other aldermen were selected May 2.
Only 29 percent of the city’s registered voters participated in that primary election, despite the importance of the offices involved.
We don’t know whether the non-voters believed their votes would not really make a difference or they just did not care one way or the other.
We often remind people that it is their civic duty to vote.
We suppose that is true.
But if people really don’t care, perhaps we are all better off for their staying at home.
An uninformed, misinformed or misguided voter may do more harm than no vote at all.
But a discouraged voter may need to rethink his or her position.
Certainly, our votes appear to have no value at all in the presidential elections.
That’s not true locally, however.
While it did not happen here, several North Mississippi primaries ended either in a tie or with only a very few votes separating the top two candidates.
So a single vote can make a difference locally.
But there is an even better reason to be informed and vote accordingly.
As noted in a public radio essay this past week, Mississippi voters need to be “greedy.”
After all, it is in your best interest to vote because however a local election turns out, it will affect your life – and your pocketbook – in direct ways over the following four years.
How people vote determines what you pay in taxes, how that money is spent and which services your local government provides for you. Your vote also affects what you may or may not do legally.
So be greedy, get as much out of your government as you can by studying the candidates and issues and voting accordingly.