November 2016

Your Vote Counts

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It seems to go without saying that a November, 2016 edition of any newspaper would contain articles about the election, occurring eight days from now. I think we would all agree that this particular election has evoked more reaction than any other in memory. Or maybe ever.

The most basic truth about our system of voting reminds us that voting is exercising your right under the Constitution of the United States. Using Suffield’s website as my guide, I bring some information:

Why Register to Vote?

* You can run for political office.

* You can help decide what happens to our country.

* You can help determine your level of property taxes and school board budgets.

* You can select the people you want to run for office.

Why should I vote?

Your vote makes a difference as history has proven.

* In 1800 T. Jefferson was elected President by one vote.

* Richard Nixon would have defeated John Kennedy in l960 had only ONE more vote been collected in four state precincts.

* In 1994, the 2nd Congressional District of CT was initially won by 2 VOTES.

If I join a political party, must I vote for that party’s candidate?

* Your vote is secret and you may vote for anyone you choose in elections.

You can get your name on the ballot, obtain an Absentee ballot, and get much more information about the process by going to the Town of Suffield website OR calling our Registrars of Voters, Darlene Burrell and Lynn Joyal. Their phone number is: 860-668-3850 and email addresses: dburrell@suffieldtownhall.com and ljoyal@suffieldtownhall.com.

Here are a few facts pulled from past election results:

There are a total of 8,112 active Suffield voters as of 4/5/16. Total Republicans number 2,420, total Democrats number 2,223, and Unaffiliated voters number 3,279.

The records show that Presidential elections, in the years l957 through 2012, drew the largest number of voters, ranging from a high of 91% in l964 and l968 to a low of 48% in l960.

Between 1972 and 2012 the range was between 78% to 88% of all possible voters.

Referendum voting shows a much lower rate of participation.

Between 1969 to 2015, the number of possible voters ranged between 4% to 45%.

What this all means is open to interpretation. My opinion is that every election is important. It is our responsibility as citizens of this community, state, and country to vote. Every time.

It is a truism that people tend to take for granted whatever comes easily. Perhaps we would all be wise to take inspiration from those in certain other countries who line up at polling places, despite the very real risk of a car bombing, to exercise this most cherished right.

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