Will you vote?

Published 8:10 am Tuesday, October 26, 2010

To the Editor:

This is an open letter to my fellow citizens of Northampton County.

We have important mid-term elections coming up on November 2nd.  One constant refrain I hear across Northampton County is “My vote won’t count; I can’t make a difference.”   This attitude becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.  In the recent primary elections less than 32% of registered voters bothered to show up – that’s only 4,676 voters out of a total of almost 14,800.  Where were the others?  Sitting around telling themselves they can’t make a difference.  Well, they didn’t make a difference, but only because they didn’t vote!

Your vote won’t count?  I’m here to tell you that nothing could be further from the truth.

I was privileged to serve Northampton County as County Commissioner for some 16 years.  During that time there were elections I won by only a few hundred votes.  At the end, when I lost, the margin was around 200 votes.  In all of these elections, 1,000’s of Northampton County citizens never showed up at the polls.

Think of that.  If in any of these elections just a few more people — if you and your circle of friends and family, which for most people can number in the 100’s – had voted either for or against me, then the election results would have been different.   Your vote counts; change is possible.

National commentators are talking about this mid-term election as one of the most important in generations.  The sweeping changes Washington has enacted and intends to enact has galvanized the national debate like never before.  If you are like me, you will want to oppose the policies which have ballooned our national debt, impoverished our children and grandchildren, and set our country on a course towards an entrenched bureaucratic state.   If you are not like me, you will want to stay the course.

Northampton County has many contested local elections as well.  Among others, we have a contest for a County Commissioner’s seat, a Judgeship, the Sheriff, and the Clerk of Superior Court.  This means there is a choice to be made in November between the entrenched status quo and citizens who have decided to get involved and oppose the incumbent politicians.  I’m for throwing out most of the current crowd; you might be for them.

But either way, your vote not only can count, it will count!  

The right to vote is one of our greatest privileges, not least because it is a way to voice our opinion that the politicians cannot ignore.  So, let your voice be heard!  Mark your calendars for Tuesday, November 2nd, and when you vote, take someone with you! 

Henry B. Moncure