Don’t throw away the right to vote

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 5, 2003

The election has come and gone and, as badly as I hate to admit it, I wasn’t really keeping up with all that was going on.

I did discover, though, that I have either a friend or an enemy in the town of Woodland.

There’s no clear way of determining it, but I received a vote for mayor of that town.

Well, one’s first thought might be that I voted for myself, but the truth to the matter is I did not do any such thing.

No, actually someone out there cast their vote hopelessly my way during this past municipal election which leads me to the question, why?

I wasn’t running for mayor of Woodland.

Why then did I receive this vote. Was it a vote of confidence or a vote of deception?

I suppose I will never know. One thing is for sure though, I wasn’t prepared.

I had no acceptance speech ready. There was no big victory party arranged. Heck, I didn’t even know I was running.

I would like to think my campaign party and all the work that was done. Oh yeah, what do I do with the money raised?

Hum, maybe I’ll invest it somewhere. No, I’ll just tuck it away and use it to send my daughters off to college with next year.

Oh, that’s right. There was no campaign so there’s no campaign party and I guess that means there’s no campaign funds to illegally dispose of for personal gains.

Boy, when someone asked me the other day if I was keeping up with the election and I said, &uot;no,&uot; I wasn’t kidding.

Had I only known I was running for mayor, I would have at least held a pig picking or something – sorry.

Seriously, and yes one single vote for mayor in the town of Woodland was cast in my direction and I will forever be honored for the thought, but no thanks.

I have enough headaches and worries of my own to have to add an entire town to the mix.

Maybe, when I grow up, I’d like to get into politics. But for now, there’s something about being an elected official that seems to take the fun out of finding fault in them… if you know what I mean.

There were a couple of good races this election. And by the way, just for the record, the mayor’s race in Woodland was not contested.

The contested races though, were not nearly as heated and loud as I thought they would be in the early going.

The mayor’s race in Ahoskie between Linda Blackburn and Arthur Lee Wiggins had the makings of a real down and out race, but it just never seemed to develop.

I think the results here will be positive for Ahoskie and in talking with Arthur Lee, he too felt it was a win-win situation for the town. I believe Linda will be good for Ahoskie.

I didn’t even know some of the towns in Northampton County had challenges for board seats until about two weeks ago.

That may say something about this newspaper. I’m not sure we did our job in getting these people fired up and getting the voters enthused about who is running our towns.

It’s something this newspaper needs to sit down and evaluate because we owe it to you to provide the information to either make you mad or make you happy.

You may think that doesn’t make sense, but the two emotions that cause a person to react quickly are fear and joy.

We need to be afraid our towns, our state and even our nation will not have the leadership they need and deserve to take us from today into tomorrow.

Look around us. Everything seems to be going somewhere else.

We need more than a fast food restaurant to make it folks. I’m not knocking fast food, but you understand what I mean – we need jobs.

Well, one mayor can’t make that happen. Nor can one town council, but with the right leadership and the eagerness and willingness to put forth the efforts, they can make a difference.

Not many of you voted Tuesday. Not many of you apparently cared what the results would be.

Maybe like me, you just didn’t dig into what was going on around you.

Oh, I went to the poll and voted, but I didn’t do my homework. I didn’t ask the first candidate for whom I placed a vote why they were running or what difference they felt they could make by winning.

I think getting that one, little bitty vote may have opened my eyes to the possibility of who we are electing to run our levels of government.

Folks you need to exercise your right to vote every time you have the chance. Not just to keep me out of office, but to make sure we are getting the right people in those offices.

And, keeping me out of office might not be a bad thing either.