To change the direction the democracy’s going – vote
I have been a resident of Botetourt County for more than 50 years and, thanks to good friends and neighbors who welcomed me with open arms, have had the privilege to establish a modest farm in what I consider the most beautiful part of Virginia. Over the years I have gotten to know many of you and value your opinions and advice – from farming to politics. To that point I would like to speak about our voting process. Like many of you, I was disappointed in last year’s election results. But I find solace in the fact that we live in the world’s greatest democracy. If we don’t like the direction we are headed, we change it by going to the ballot box and voting accordingly.
After discussions about our elections, I decided to see for myself how the process works by visiting Traci Clark, our county registrar. Ms. Clark was very helpful and answered all my questions and concerns related to the voting process. She walked me through the procedure in Botetourt – how ballots are counted, recorded, securely stored, and transmitted to Virginia’s Board of Elections. Our conversation removed any previous hesitation I had. I am firm in my belief that in Botetourt County we have a system in place that ensures that every vote is accurately counted and recorded and encourage anyone who has questions about our voting process to contact Ms. Clark.
I know many of you are judging the election in other localities in Virginia and other states but we in Botetourt County can only answer for ourselves. I am hopeful that voter participation will far surpass the 50 percent that is usually the case in past elections here. There are 26,000 registered voters in Botetourt and if we join Southwest and Central Virginia in encouraging five more out of every 100 people to get off the couch and make their voices heard we can do our part to neutralize what we are seeing elsewhere in Virginia.
Political change starts with local participation. This election will decide our governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and the makeup of our House of Delegates, and as a result the direction of our Commonwealth. Some food for thought: During a four-year term, the governor has the authority to appoint more than 900 positions of various capacity, including the Virginia Department of Education’s board members.
If you are skeptical, please make the effort to inform yourself and talk with the people who work tirelessly to ensure that this 245-year experiment in democracy continues to be a beacon for the rest of the world.