Over the centuries, we Americans have expanded on that philosophy to include every man and women who are citizens of this great country.
We convey our wishes to the leadership of the United States through the voting process and in no election does “one man, one vote” reveal our wishes more clearly than in our local city elections.
On Tuesday the citizens of Cleveland and Ruleville “may” go to the polls to vote for their respective city’s aldermen and mayor.
The word “may” is used here because not everyone will exercise his right to vote. A right that was hard fought for women and blacks.
According to a report by American Goes to the Polls, in the 2012 election a little over 60 percent of Mississippians voted; a percentage that is actually down from the 2008 election. The report also says that the younger a person is the less likely he will vote.
While statistics for national elections show large numbers of people going to the polls, the elections where voters truly have a say and can daily see their government in action show only a handful of people casting their ballots.
In the last municipal elections in 2009, far fewer than 1,000 people voted in Cleveland for the seven people who manage the city.
Voting takes only minutes from a person’s day and can be conducted at any time convenient between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
Voters are reminded that though their Ward may not have a contested election, the alderman-at-large represents the entire city and all polling locations will be open.
Let us remember the words of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, “Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.”
Let us honor the men and women who fought for our rights; let us honor the men and women who have stepped up to leadership through their candidacy; and let us honor our country and the freedoms it gives.
Please vote on Tuesday.