Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Voters are what make democracy work
The election is over, and the final results are in. While the majority of Texans voted for Mitt Romney, voters in other states chose to renew President Obama's lease in the White House another four years.
Election results aside, we would like to applaud everyone who took the time to exercise their rights and honor their civic duty by voting in this election. By doing this, you helped decide the direction of not just our nation but also our state, region and local communities.
We are especially proud to see voters such as Travis Hughes, a Victoria East High School student who turned 18 on Election Day. Here is a young man who is starting his life as a legal adult with an act of responsibility, which is an example for all of us. Rather than spend his birthday partying and goofing off, this young man chose to be a responsible, contributing member of American society, and we applaud him for it.
We also wish to thank Victoria County Elections Administrator George Matthews, the election office staff and all the volunteers who helped run the polling places during the long, often frustrating early voting and Election Day period. Without these people and their dedication to a fair, honest democratic process, our nation would not be able to continue as well as it does.
But even with all of these wonderful aspects of Election Day 2012, we were still disappointed by one thing. According to the Texas Secretary of State, there are 51,501 registered voters in Victoria County. Of those, only 56.08 percent made it to the polls in both early voting and Election Day to vote for the office of president of the United States. That means almost half of the people registered to vote in Victoria County chose to sit this one out for one reason or another.
We have heard some say they chose not to vote because they did not like either candidate for president. While this sentiment is understandable, it is not excusable. While that particular race may not have presented an acceptable choice to some, there were many more races that also needed to be considered. While the office of president is a highly visible, largely publicized race, the local offices such as commissioner or district judge are no less important. In fact, they have much more immediate importance, because these are part of the governing body that affect our lives every day in our own communities. We hope voters will remember this when it is time to vote again and take a more vested interest in their communities.
Despite the disappointing turnout, we wish to applaud all those involved in this election process, from the candidates who both won and lost and their desire to serve their communities to the volunteers and voters themselves. Thank you for taking part in the most important act an American citizen can do. Your time and efforts were not wasted.
This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.