November 4, 2014 is Election Day, but you can vote early beginning October 13. We are emphasizing Early Voting to help eliminate one of the excuses some registered voters use when they fail to go to the polls and vote on Election Day. Frankly, there is no excuse for not voting, but we want our readers to vote early this year, just in case “the car will not start” or you face some other challenges that make it difficult to get to the poll on November 4 to vote. The Early Voting period will last for three weeks beginning October 13th. The last day for early voting is October 31, 2014.
Additionally, there is one Saturday and one Sunday when you can cast your ballot at the Board of Registrars Main Office, 1117 Eisenhower Drive, Suite E. The Saturday voting is October 25 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. This year, you can even cast your ballots on Sunday, October 26, from 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m. at the Board of Registrars Main Office.
If you think that there is a possibility that you will not be able to go to the poll, you can also vote by Absentee Ballot. You must request this Absentee Ballot immediately. Call the Board of Elections at 912-233-4161 for assistance. It is disappointing to think about the fact that only a very small percentage of the citizens in our community will actually cast a ballot in these important elections this year. It is important for each citizen to vote in every election, and the very thought that many African Americans will not vote is especially depressing when we think of the struggles and sacrifices our forefathers endured to give us the right to vote in America. People were threatened, beaten and jailed just for attempting to register to vote, and heroes like Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Michael Schwerner were killed as they tried to help Blacks get the right to vote.
This year, those who want to roll back all the gains that Blacks have achieved have had some major successes thanks to the unfortunate decisions like the U. S. Supreme Court judgment to weaken the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by striking down the requirement that certain states with histories of restricting Black from voting must seek Federal approval before making changes in their voting laws when there is the possibility that the proposed changes will discriminate against minorities.
Obviously, the fact that so many African-Americans will not vote, or understand the importance of voting, is a source of grave concern and frustration to us at The Savannah Tribune. Voting is a responsibility of citizenship. It is our duty to help select our leaders and let our voices be heard on issues facing our community and nation.
This year, we will elect a new Senator to represent Georgia and a new Congressman from the 1st Congressional District that covers most this area. We will also select a Governor and several other constitutional officers for the State of Georgia. Some of these races are hotly contested and the results will be very close. Every vote is important. You should vote, and also make sure that your family members, friends and associates vote. With this one election, we could help reverse the hatred in our State and Nation.
Many election observers and some candidates believe that African-American voters in Savannah and throughout America will not understand the importance of this election. They also say that we will not even vote because we have a history of not voting and because African-American community leaders and elected officials are not doing enough to encourage us to vote. Some candidates are counting on us not voting. They have dismissed African Americans totally and aggressively support policies that are detrimental to us and of community.
At The Savannah Tribune, we are working hard until November 4 to disprove this idea. We owe it to our forefathers.