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Get involved in your government: Vote

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By Dave Taylor

There are many ways in which local citizens can participate in government. Becoming a candidate for political office or attending meetings to understand the political process and expressing your opinions are among these. One of the basic ways to participate in government is by voting. When we vote, we help determine who will lead our nation, state, county and local governments. Voting gives us each a say in who will make our laws and protect our freedoms.

I realize this is a no-brainer, but you cannot vote unless you are registered. There are a lot of eligible Americans who are not registered to vote.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as many as 35 percent of the voting-age population are not registered. What’s worse is often less than half the voting-age population actually votes in a given election.

In 2000, 51.3 percent of eligible Americans voted in the presidential election.

In 2002, 37 percent of eligible Americans voted in the mid-term elections.

In 2004, 55.1 percent voted in the presidential election.

In 2006, 37.3 percent voted in the mid-term elections.

In the last presidential election, 56.8 percent voted.

There is an old proverb that is still true today: “Bad politicians are elected by good people who don’t vote!”

Get informed on the issues, party platforms and candidate positions on the issues. Then prayerfully consider voting for the candidates who are the best match with your values.

Registration can be completed at the Trimble County Clerk’s office. The deadline to register to vote in the November election is October 9.

Another way to participate in government is to voice your concerns to your government leaders. Write them, phone them or attend meetings of the board of education, city commissions or fiscal court.

People are often quick to complain about events that occur in their communities but they are slow to attend meetings and become active in the debate. Debating local issues on social media (i.e. Facebook) is not the same as face-to-face meetings with government or school leaders. Hearsay and gossip is not a substitute for attending meetings to see and hear what business is actually being conducted and which magistrates or commissioners are representing or misrepresenting your views.

Contact information for state and federal government leaders are frequently published here to enable you to let your voice be heard in Frankfort and Washington, D.C.

U.S. Senate
Sen. Mitch McConnell
317 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-2541
Fax: (202) 224-2499

Sen. Rand Paul
208 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington DC, 20510
Phone: 202-224-4343

U.S. House of Representatives
4th District Congressman
1119 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-3465
Fax: (202) 225-0003

Kentucky Senate
Sen. Ernie Harris
PO Box 1073
Crestwood KY 40014
or
702 Capitol Ave
Annex Room 204
Frankfort KY 40601
(502) 564-8100 Ext. 605

Kentucky House
Rep. Rick Rand
PO Box 273
Bedford KY 40006
or
702 Capitol Ave
Annex Room 366B
Frankfort KY 40601
(502) 564-8100 Ext. 619