Exercising your right to vote

Published 9:59 am Wednesday, November 7, 2018

The polls came to a close for General and Special Elections in Charlotte County last night.

During the months and weeks leading up to an election, voters are often bombarded with political advertisements attempting to sway your decisions in favor of a particular candidate.

However, the message here is not to encourage you to vote for any particular candidate or party affiliation, but to encourage you to get out and vote in future elections, regardless of who you vote for.

We believe voting is a right and a privilege that not everyone currently has.

According to information provided by the Secretary of the Commonwealth, anyone convicted of a felony in Virginia will automatically lose their civil rights.

These civil rights include the right “to vote, serve on a jury, run for office, become a notary public and carry a firearm,” according to restoration of rights information provided by the Secretary of Commonwealth.

Additionally, those who are not U.S. citizens are not allowed to vote in national elections, or those under the age of 18.

Many of us take for granted the simple rights we possess until we are no longer able to exercise those rights.

Information provided by the United States Census Bureau also found that presidential versus congressional election years may also make a difference in voter turnout.

“Since 1978, voting rates have been consistently higher in presidential election years than in congressional election years,” said the information. “In 2014, the overall voting rate was the lowest for a congressional election since the CPS (Current Population Survey’s) first asked about voting and citizenship status in 1978 …”

If you are able to vote, it should be a priority regardless of what type of election is being held. Even local county elections have a huge impact on the citizens in a particular area and can ultimately shape the future of the community.

Make prior transportation arrangements if you need a ride to the polls and ask questions if you do not understand the voting process.

Let’s do our part in Charlotte County to keep our citizens involved.