Election season is here. Surprised? Well, I was — from a local standpoint that is. With our daily focus on the Coronavirus pandemic (and the multitude of ways that it has impacted all of us), as well as several other things that have been going on in our area, election season has kind of slipped up on me. Sure, this is a presidential election year, but it is the other political races that have mostly caught me off guard.
With qualifying for our Louisiana congressional representation in Washington (except for one senatorial seat), my surprise in seeing the large assortment of campaign yard signs for Chief of Police on a trip to Benton last week and some local amendments/referendums soon to be voted on by Bossier Parish voters in some parts of the parish, something that I have long known in the back of my mind hit me right in the face. Election season is upon us.
A popular saying that I have heard since I first became interested in politics as a youngster says “there is always an election in Louisiana.” Well, maybe so. For sure, Louisiana is known for its politics. As such, I have always felt that kind of puts the spotlight on us as residents of this state. And in view of this, we should all be a part of the process in terms of being informed regarding the issues. As such, we should cast our vote for the candidate that we feels best represents both our views and our vision for the future.
Do you remember the first election in which you were of age to cast your vote? I registered to vote when I was 18 years old (almost to the very day). I could hardly wait. And, although I don’t specifically remember the the very first election in which I cast my vote, I do remember the first presidential election in which I was able to cast my vote. It was the 1980 election between Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter. I was 19 by then and I simply couldn’t wait to get to the polls. In fact, even to this very day, I try to be the first one in my precinct to vote. I don’t always make it as the first voter, but I have been among the first group of voters in my precinct for many years.
Our vote is ultra important. Voting is a privilege. Voting is a responsibility. But most importantly, voting is a right guaranteed to us by our constitution as citizens of the United States. In my opinion, our right to vote should never be taken for granted or viewed with an attitude of non-significance. Our right to vote is one of the most important rights that we have as citizens of the United States of America. And in this current day, with the issues we face as a nation at this time, our voice (as represented by our vote) is as important (maybe even more so) than it has ever been in our lifetimes.
Let me strongly urge you to be a part of the political process. It is never too early in the election cycle to study the issues in order to decide which candidate best represents your political views. Don’t ever miss any opportunity to cast your vote…to make your voice heard loud and clear! It is crucially important! It’s our future!
Randy Brown is publisher of the Bossier Press-Tribune, and a really lucky guy.