City records indicate, as of July 7, 2017, there were 14, 484 people in Scottsboro with approximately 80 percent voting age. That works out to approximately 11,587 people. Our voting records reflect 12,488 registered voters. Of course, a number of those are inactive for various reasons.
Interesting, but the key figures indicate the following number of votes in the last three city elections:
• 2012: 3,457 in general election and 2,189 in runoff election
• 2014: 2,401 in general election and 2,169 in runoff election
• 2016: 3,449 in general election and 3,514 in runoff election
That works out to a high of approximately 28 percent and a low of approximately 17 percent of the on file registered voters in Scottsboro, not necessarily the active voters.
I am concentrating on Scottsboro figures because the upcoming election is for Scottsboro. I don’t have the figures for the county, but I feel confident they are similar. Basically, for the last four years, between 17 and 28 percent of our registered voters in Scottsboro are determining our leadership and all the other issues we vote on.
I have worked the elections at the Rec-Com for several years. I have seen voters come in wheelchairs, on crutches, walkers, almost blind and needing assistance, using canes and service dogs and just plain painfully shuffling to get to the voting booth and place their vote in the machine.
I have seen the youngsters come in for the first time, all excited, and I encourage them to keep coming back. What I have not seen is that other three quarters of our registered voters come in and express their opinions and desires.
We are fortunate enough to have the latest in voting technology available and a great crew of workers so voting is easy and not very time consuming. We are open 7 a.m. until 7 p.m., so that overlaps most work schedules. If you are not going to be in town, there is also absentee voting.
On Aug. 19, the Jackson County Historical Association is hosting a “meet and greet” at the Railroad Depot Museum, from 2-4 p.m. This is an opportunity for you to meet the candidates in the Aug. 28 election in an informal atmosphere and ask them anything you would like about themselves, their qualifications and their plans for our city.
A forum is also scheduled for Aug. 21, at 6 p.m., at the high school. Please try to attend one or both of these events for the good of our city. Get to know those who want to help run our city and our schools so you can make an informed decision.
I found a couple of appropriate quotes: “The man who never bothers to vote is always ready to tell you what is wrong with the government,” and “It is always the man who doesn’t vote who spends his time criticizing the officials other men have elected.”
Please attend the functions and come out to vote. The direction of our city and schools depend on you. You will make a difference.