Tuesday, May 13, 2014


We all know that the voter turnout was low for the last primary election in Milam County.  Less than a 23% turnout of the registered voters in the county.  Less than one fourth of the voters in the county called the shots in the last local elections.  You have to wonder why people don't vote.

Not sure if everyone knows it, but there is a list of those who voted.  The voters list will tell you who voted in the election and which party primary they voted in.  Of course in the general election you can tell who voted, but you won't know how they voted, straight ticket or otherwise.  The list is available for viewing from the County Tax Office and makes for some interesting reading.

I thought it might be interesting to find out who actually did vote in the primary and the list provides some interesting if not surprising reading.  When I think of those that vote on a regular basis I think that they are civic minded citizens that are interested being a part of the decision making process in local, state and federal government.  I often hear folks say, "Why should I vote….my vote won't make any difference."  If you don't vote it doesn't even have a chance to make a difference.

I was truly surprised, and yet saddened after viewing the voters list.  I was amazed at some of those that did not cast a vote in either primary.  There were community leaders, elected officials, teachers, school administrators, and others that you would think would have voted.  There were contributors to the campaigns that did not vote in either primary.  Pretty sad situation when those that are supposed to be examples for others fail in their civic responsibilities.

Then there are those that tell you they voted when they really didn’t.  Kind of makes you wonder if they knew there was a list.  Or maybe they just thought what idiot would look at who voted and who didn’t.  There are many organizations and even commercial companies that take a look at who votes and who doesn't. 

Data mining software has been in use for years not to increase voter turnout, but to find out more information about voters.  Internet marketers and candidates, through the use of data-mining tools, are combining individual voter records and personal commercial data to target candidates, issues, and products to specific segments of the population, potentially crossing the boundaries of individual privacy in the process.

So now that some folks know that their data is being "mined" from the voters list they will have another reason for not voting.  The only real reason for not voting in today's elections is death.  It is so easy to vote today compared to when I first started voting it is not even funny.  Since it is easy there is no excuse.

Speaking of voting don't forget to cast your vote in the run-off elections on May 27th or during early voting that begins on May 19 and continues through May 23rd.  While there are no local contests in the run-off there are state offices that are very important to Milam County residents.  Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General are both in the run-off.  

Take time to cast your vote and make it count.  Whatever you do just remember that there is a list of those who cast their vote.  A list that every registered voter should be proud to have their name on.  Don’t forget that while Ethel might not be looking there are a lot of folks that do.