Tag: voting

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Replace in-person voting with voting by mail

To the Editor:

Voting by mail should replace voting at the polls in its entirety. The two institutions that can definitely be trusted are the County Board of Elections and the United States Postal Service.

Continue reading “LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Replace in-person voting with voting by mail”

Alabamians set to vote on March 3: Find your polling location, view candidate and ballot information

Scott Young, News Editor

On Tuesday, March 3, the voters of Alabama will head to the polls to participate in a primary election. Voters in Calhoun County will vote in a number of local and statewide offices, a state constitutional amendment, a county referendum and the presidential primary.

Continue reading “Alabamians set to vote on March 3: Find your polling location, view candidate and ballot information”

The people have spoken

Last Tuesday, the people of Alabama and the American public made their selections for those who will represent them in government.

Overwhelmingly, this election turned out to be a full referendum on President Obama’s administration and policy initiatives.

This was especially true in Alabama where Republicans increased their majorities statewide and in the legislative chambers. In the Alabama House of Representatives, Republicans increased their supermajority of 66 to 72 seats of the 105, and in the Senate their supermajority was increased from 23 to 25 of the 35 total seats.

These numbers show that the Republican Party in Alabama now controls 97 of 140 seats in the Legislature (70% of all seats), not to mention all seven statewide offices. So what does this mean for Alabamians?

While some may interpret these results as a “stamp of approval” for policies passed by the Republican-led legislature over the past four years, I have to disagree. If you paid any attention to the political commercials blasting the airwaves across the state for the past few months, you will see why.

With so little emphasis on the record of candidates over the past few years and such heavy emphasis on “fighting Obama,” one must conclude that the results of this election was a referendum on President Obama’s policies. This makes one wonder how much attention will be paid to the actions of those who were elected over the next four years.

In this election, only 40 percent, or 1 million, of the state’s 2.5 million registered voters turned out to cast their ballot. In Alabama there are 3.7 million citizens who are eligible to vote.

Therefore, only about 27 percent, just over one-fourth of Alabama’s voting age population actually voted. Because candidates who won election were selected with at least a 51 percent majority vote, an assumption can be made that only about 13 percent of Alabama’s voting population selected those who will represent us in government for the next four years.

This is very troubling, not just from a governing perspective, but from a civic engagement perspective. When little over 10 percent of a population is selecting their government’s representatives, that leaves virtually 90 percent of citizens completely unrepresented.

So who’s to blame? Those who did not vote, quite frankly. A disengaged citizenry is just as harmful to the population as a whole as is a bad government. We can only hope that Alabamians will monitor the actions of their government and that our government will work to represent all of Alabama.

After all, President Obama only has two years left in office, but the current state government will serve four years. Keep your eyes and ears to the ground, Alabama. You know I will!

Brett Johnson
Staff Writer

Turn Out for What?

On Tuesday, November 4 there is a huge election that will impact college students all across Alabama. But it isn’t a presidential election, and the lack of high-profile candidates is causing college students to wonder why they should take the trip to the polls on Tuesday.

In fact, the popular youth-vote movement ‘Rock the Vote’ has created an advertising campaign to try and get college students and young voters to turn out on Election Day. The catchy campaign features Lil Jon in a cover of his hit song “Turn Down for What” and is titled “Turn Out for What” (yep, go look it up).

This video got me thinking: why should students turnout to vote? As always, I’m here to explain why voting on Tuesday could literally make or break you as a college student in Alabama.

Because it is a state election, the majority of contested offices are in the Alabama Legislature where the decisions our lawmakers make can affect our lives as college students. The most obvious way this election can impact us is in our wallets and purses, through the Education Budget, which funds colleges in Alabama.

At JSU, the appropriation from the state’s education budget is about one-third of the University’s total budget and sets the foundation of how the University makes decisions on tuition and fees. Therefore, anytime there is a cut in state funding, the loss is usually offset by an increase in tuition.

This is why college students must turnout to vote on Tuesday for pro-public education candidates. Candidates who support funding higher education, candidates who have ideas about how to increase the Education Trust Fund budget (like supporting an education lottery), and candidates who understand how valuable public universities like JSU are to Alabama’s economy.

Jacksonville State employs around 1,000 individuals; meaning that 1,000 families depend upon JSU’s share of state funding. Jacksonville State also graduates about 2,000 students every year. That’s 2,000 students in Alabama who will make double or triple what they would make without their education, thus contributing twice as much to Alabama’s economy.

So, when you find yourself singing Lil Jon’s tune “Turn Down for What” (and I know you will) I hope you’ll remember not to “turn down” your right to vote this election cycle. You have an opportunity on Tuesday to elect candidates that will make decisions that will affect your life for the next four years.

Turn Out for What? Turn out to increase education funding, keep tuition low, and grow Alabama’s economy. Your decision to stay at home and watch Netflix instead of exercise your right to vote could make or break your future in Alabama. Turn out for You!

Brett Johnson
Staff Writer