Speak up Tuesday

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The primary election is upon us and Tuesday is the last opportunity to cast a ballot that will help set the slate of candidates for the November general election.
In addition to a list of candidates to choose from on both the Republican and Democratic ballots, each include a number of party referendum measures.
While these items are non-binding, they are one way we can send a message to our primary political parties about how we feel regarding certain policy issues. On the Democratic ballot referendum measures deal with immigration reform and wages. On the Republican side they address religious freedom, gun rights, franchise taxes and the Affordable Care Act.
By casting a vote on these issues, we can let our elected officials know where we stand on these issues in broad terms and perhaps help steer future policy in the right direction.
A lack of voter participation is one of the greatest poisons to our system and an easy way to hand the government a blank slate for policy making and a blank check for spending our tax money. If we do not care enough to vote, then the message is clear that we do not really care what our leaders do.
In Limestone County there are just under 18,000 eligible voters. Less than 11,000 of those are registered to vote and in the 2012 primaries, only 2,460 cast a ballot. What message does it send to our elected leaders when less than 14 percent of eligible voters go to the polls?
The United States has a long history of working to ensure the right to vote is shared by all and protected. Whether it is through Constitutional amendments or the Voting rights Act, we have fought long and hard to give a voice to all Americans. Make sure you use that voice, otherwise one day we may find it is gone.