Your vote, your voice

Published 10:49 pm Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Today’s newspaper is published on the heels of an historic election. One for the ages, they say.

Whether it lives up to its billing may not be determined for some time. It will likely take years — perhaps a generation even — to ascertain the true impact of Tuesday’s events.

One thing is for certain; it was an election of firsts. The notable ballot promised either our nation’s first black president or its oldest first-term president and first female vice president.

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Record numbers were expected for voter turnout across the country as polls came to a close Tuesday night. The same was true for Butler County.

With the balance of power at stake in Congress, races for Senate and Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District took on even greater significance.

Voters were also left to grapple with the fate of Amendment 1, a ballot measure to borrow money from a state trust fund to support shortfalls in education and general fund budgets.

Butler County Schools Superintendent Mike Looney urged voters to consider the amendment he said would help sustain a school system facing proration.

Republican gubernatorial candidate and Greenville businessman Tim James crusaded against the same measure, calling it a bailout for policymakers.

Across the ballot, this election has been particularly divisive.

Now that the polls have closed, it’s time to unite in support of our government and it’s leaders, both nationally and locally. It’s cliché, but needed now more than ever in the face of some of the most significant issues of our time.

That support need not come at the expense of personal values or political ideology, but rather through the prolonged sense of fervor and excitement of involvement that drove so many voters to the polls.

One way to assure our voices are heard is to use them more often then every four years.