Tuesday, Sept. 24, was National Voter Registration Day, a nationwide effort to make sure Americans are registered to cast ballots in the upcoming 2014 and beyond elections.
According to the events website: In 2008, six million Americans didnt vote because they missed a registration deadline or didnt know how to register. In 2013, we want to make sure no one is left out.
On its Partners page, several hundred organizations, businesses, secondary schools, colleges, universities, senior living facilities and voters rights organizations are sponsors. No one is listed as a lead organizer, which is probably how it should be.
The day is a single day of coordinated volunteer, technology and media efforts to create widespread awareness of voter registration opportunities.
Given the state of affairs in Washington, and that next year, Wilson County voters will be faced with the largest ballot since 2006, it is crucial that every effort be made to get people registered to vote.
A non-partisan effort, the purpose of this day is generate awareness of the importance of voting, while registering tens of thousands of voters in person, as well as online
But more importantly, and I quote the website: National Voter Registration Day will be an opportunity to put our differences aside and celebrate the rights that unite us as Americans.
What a message to send to Congress and the president, while our national leaders continue to tear each other apart by advancing their own political agendas instead of doing the peoples business.
The day and date for this national event were chosen deliberately by organizers to fall on a Tuesday, because thats day of the week most people associate with elections, and to be far enough in advance of any election so as to ensure the most number of individuals possible could be registered before any primary is held.
If I were in Congress, Id pay attention. Its time we remind our elected officials that as President Abraham Lincoln said in The Gettysburg Address, our country is a government of the people, by the people, for the people
Somewhere along the way, our national leaders have forgotten that the people are the ones who give them their jobs through our votes at the ballot box; that the people pay their salaries through our tax dollars; and that the people let them stay employed as public officials or not.
But all this is just rhetoric and empty words if they are not backed by actions in the voters booth. Unless you register to vote and then turn out and cast your ballot, nothing will ever change.
Some may cry, It doesnt matter if I vote or not. Theyre going to do what they want regardless. This may be true in the short run. But in the long run, the American people have showed many a politician the door through the casting of their votes.
While Tuesday may have been the official day to register voters, its not too late. Anyone at the Wilson County Election Commission will be happy to help you register. Contact them at (615) 444-0216; via email at firstname.lastname@example.org; visit their website at www.wilsonelections.com; or drop by the office at 203 East Main St., Lebanon, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday.
Remember, registering to vote is the only way you have the power to decide who will and will not represent you in public office. Thanks to the millions of men and women who have fought and died throughout our countrys history, we, as citizens of the United States of America, are able to vote without coercion or fear.
Dont take it for granted. Register today.
By AMELIA MORRISON HIPPS
Some things never seem to change in local government, specifically the annual struggle to strike a balance between the county commission and the Wilson County school system when it comes to adequate funding levels.
The new director of schools, Dr. Tim Setterlund, has publicly stated he hopes to improve things in this area by building trust through open communications with the commission and the public. I applaud him for taking this position and for recognizing that trust between the two parties is critical going forward.