People, by nature, like to feel like we have control over a situation. There are some who are more agreeable than others when it comes to deciding things like where to eat or what movie to watch, but even those who go along are making a choice to go along. They are still involved in the decision making and can opt out at any time.
We don’t like to have decisions made for us. We like to have a sense that we are in control. So why then, with all that is at stake right now for the city of Brunswick, are so few of its registered voters turning out for this year’s city elections?
In last month’s election for two seats on the city commission, only 8.1 percent of the city’s registered 9,761 voters cast ballots. That means hundreds of people decided the future of the thousands who live in the city limits.
Of course, the election isn’t over yet. Johnny Cason’s North Ward seat is heading to a runoff between Cason and John Davis Perry II. Early voting wrapped up last week with the runoff slated for Tuesday. All three of the city’s polling places will be fully staffed and ready to go from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Brunswick is currently undergoing a revival. Local stakeholders have gathered the resources to try to put a new shine on the city. Downtown is getting more housing to bring in more people to the area while new businesses are also starting to populate the area.
We have the Oglethorpe block conundrum, potentially a new SPLOST and a host of other issues that the city commission will play a huge role in helping chart the course for Brunswick going forward. If you are a registered voter and don’t cast a ballot on Tuesday, you are allowing someone else to make that decision for you.
We could wax on poetically about how voting is doing your patriotic duty and remind you that several thousand Americans have died to give you that right. That is absolutely all true. Our democracy sustains itself because people exercise the freedom available to them thanks to the blood spilled by the many who came before them.
But for the moment, let’s think more practically. Would you allow someone to choose what job you have? You have to be accepted and hired by a company, but it is ultimately you who chooses where you work.
Would you allow someone else to pick out the clothes you wear everyday. Yes, you might have a stylist or salesperson assist you in finding you the right ensemble, but you still get to see it, try it on and decide you are going to wear it.
With all things considered, would you let someone else decide your future for you? If you are one of the registered voters who fails to cast a ballot, that’s exactly what you are doing.