Published On: Mon, Sep 5th, 2016

Elections Have Consequences, Voters Should Participate

Now that the primary election is in our rear mirror, congratulations are in order to the winners, and thank you to those who voted.

Let us not forget those contestants who did not fare as well. I applaud your desire to get involved in public service. If you are so moved, keep hope alive, your day may just come.

I was so incensed at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday when I called a friend, who has since slipped into the ‘former friend’ status, to what her experience was at the polls, only to learn that she missed the opportunity to vote, because she “thought the polls closed at 8.”

I shook my head in dismay. But I am not surprised. Over the last 30 days, I have heard so many ‘justifications’ why eligible Americans would not and did not vote.

There were those who said they could not get away from work to vote, to which I said, Nonsense. We had 14 days of early voting and if we truly wanted to vote, we also could have done so by absentee. All one had to do was dial 561-656-6200 or email absentee@pbcelections.org and just say “Mail me a ballot.” Supervisor Susan Bucher would have done so on her dime.

And then there were those who did not even know there was a primary election. “Isn’t the election in November?” one asked me.

As I have opined here before, as United States citizens, we have the right to elect leaders at local, state and federal levels. Voting is a true privilege — but unfortunately, many Americans take it for granted.

But there is an opportunity for redemption.

If you were one of those who did not make it to the polls on time or is not registered to vote, you still have time for the general election in November.

Although the primary races did not garner the level of attention as the presidential election will, Tuesday’s outcome will shape the quality of life here in Palm Beach County. You have certainly heard the phrase “every vote counts.” Let me remind you it is true.

Voters in Boca Raton narrowly approved a pay hike for our local elected officials. There has been a brouhaha over whether they deserved a raise. Well, the voters have spoken and that is the law of the land now.

Let us look at the positive side, with the mayor now earning $38,000 and council members earning $28,000, maybe this will entice some more public-spirited people to get involved in the public service. After all, not a bad part-time gig for a stay-at-home mom, or a retiree who thinks he or she can operate independently – without being influenced by developers. Hopefully we will see the democratic process at work.

Voters also gave the nod to fill vacancies on the city council, including the office of mayor, by special election for the unexpired term. The special election would be generally with 90 days of the vacancy. If the scheduled election date is within 150 days of the vacancy, election would be on scheduled date.

In two months, we will be back at the polls for the presidential elections. It does not matter what party, if any, you are affiliated with. What matters is that you vote because the candidates you elect will represent you at the discussion table.

Your elected officials create laws and decide how much taxes you will pay. So by not voting, you are giving up your chance to have a say in what happens in your community.

The Boca Raton Tribune does not endorse candidates. However, we will tell you who your options are and what their stances are as we approach the Nov. 8 general election. We encourage voters to do their own homework and think through how the options would benefit their communities.

Above all, be sure to vote. It is your responsibility as well as your right.

C. Ron Allen can be reached at crallen@delraybeachtribune.com or 561-665-0151.

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  1. Sarah Hugus says:

    Why did you not publish the number of people who did vote compared to how many are registered? It would have added to the impact of your call for folks to vote. At our precinct, by 3 pm only 53 had voted. Of course I am not including people who did vote by mail-in ballot or early voting. Give us the cold facts! Decent article overall.

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