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Where have all the voters gone?

We were shocked on Tuesday night to see that the total number of ballots cast for the Lafayette County School District bond came in at under 2,000 votes.

We understand that it’s difficult for people to get to the polls when there is just one question on the ballot and that those who don’t have children enrolled in the LCSD might be uninspired or apathetic and forgo a trip to the voter booth.

But even though we understand, we can’t say we agree.

There’s something to be said for the fact that the vote arrived on September 11, a day etched into American history that saw men and women from all walks of life give their lives in selfless acts to save others when the very root of our country, and everything it is meant to be, was shaken to the core.

America was founded on freedom and, indeed, that includes the freedom not to go to the polls and cast a ballot, be it for a school bond or the nation’s next president.

But if you stop to think about the foundation of the country, of the millions of people who have given their lives to protect our right to vote and to defend our freedom, of the dozens of times that freedom has been tested and threatened, why wouldn’t you want to exercise that right?

Every election year, we hear the adage that every vote matters and, like clockwork, someone always claims that it doesn’t. But it does matter because it’s your vote and your voice. Federal, state or local, we have the right and the privilege to step into a booth and put our decision about an issue or a person running for elected office into a process that actually matters. Democracy is an amazing and wonderful thing, and we so often take it for granted.

We as Americans, as Mississippians, Lafayette Countians and Oxonians should always consider the privilege we have to cast our ballots in one way or another.

Each voice matters, just as each voice matters.

But only if we show up.

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