Showing up at the polls

By Larry Sutton’ Contributing columnist

March 30, 2014

Come this November, the American electorate will be voting in the 2014 midterm elections, and the all important question is which electorate will show up at the polls this year — the Republican base or the Democratic base. Regardless, let this be the year you send a message, letting your local, state and federal officials know what’s important to you.

Historically, younger voters don’t turn out in high numbers for midterm election, so young voters, let 2014 be the year you prove the pundits wrong by casting your vote this May in the primary election, then, again in the November general election. You can help define the future of our country, so take your civic responsibility seriously and exercise your most fundamental right by voting.

High school social studies teachers, this is a good time for you to help “bridge the gap between government in books and government in action,” especially for your potential voters, letting them know we should bother to voter because our votes actually do mean something.

Today, the founding fathers would most definitely remind us that in order to keep the Republic they gave us in 1787 at the Constitutional Convention, the American people must keep up with what’s happening, stay informed, and vote on Election Day. So make up your mind to be a part of that electorate that shows up at the polls this November.

Yes, you got time to know the issues and study how they will impact your life. We all should care if “big money” has too large an influence on election results, finding out “who’s calling the shots” behind the scenes. Parents should want to find out how our schools can better serve the interests of all students. We all should have compassion for the poor and want to see Medicaid expanded in North Carolina.

Now, if you would like to meet the political candidates for the May 2014 primary, plan to attend the Community Political Forum, sponsored by the Sampson County Branch of the NAACP. This event is scheduled for Monday, April 28,a t First Baptist Church, 900 College St., Clinton, beginning at 6 p.m. This will be an opportunity for voters to learn more about the issues and the candidates running for office.

One important issue that will probably receive much attention is what many are calling the campaign, led by the Republican-controlled legislature in Raleigh, to dismantle the Voting Rights Act of 1965. This act did away with the literacy test and allowed for greater registration of blacks across the south.

Just for the record, in 2013, the N.C. General Assembly passed the Voter ID Law which many believe will make voting harder. Casting a vote for the Voter ID Law from Sampson County was Republican Sen. Brent Jackson, while Sampson Democrat, Rep. Larry Bell, voted against it. Not voting on the measure was Democrat Rep. William Brisson.

Protecting the right to vote really shouldn’t be a partisan matter, with both Republican and Democrats doing all they can to expand the right to vote. Along with expanding the right vote, maybe it’s time we bring back some civility to the whole political process. After all, many voters across the political spectrum share many of the same concerns such as making a living, starting a career, building a house and saving for retirement.

So, come this November, the American electorate will be voting in the 2014 midterm elections. As a nation, we should be about the pursuit of fairness, justice and equality.