PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Opinion

November 6, 2012

Do your part today — get out and vote

PORT ARTHUR — Seeing the glass as half full may be the mark of an optimist, but there not much optimism in only half our electorate bothering to get out and vote in a presidential election with a choice as stark as the one offered this year. In the early voting period, not quite half of the registered voters in Jefferson County cast ballots, but instead of accepting that “at least half voted,” we encourage the other half to do their civic duty and help set the course of the nation for the next four years.

The presidential race is at the top of the ballot, and naturally has gotten most of the attention during the months of campaigning that led up to election day. But there are many other races also on today’s ballot, from the race to determine who will occupy the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Kay Bailey Hutchison, to who will represent this area in the U.S. House to a variety of statewide offices.

Some Jefferson County races also are on the ballot, highlighted by the race between Republican incumbent J. Shane Howard against Democrat Thomas Sigee for county tax assessor-collector and the race between Democratic incumbent Milton “Mickey” Gunn Shuffield against Republican challenger Rick Williams for the 136th District Court seat.

 Our voting system isn’t perfect. Few would claim it is. But for it to represent the will of the American people, the people must participate. Early voting made it easy to cast ballots during the weeks before the election, and nearly half of the county’s registered voters took advantage of early  voting. But now election day is here and it’s a last chance to make a difference for your community and your country. Do your part to fill the glass. Go out today and vote.

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