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Opinion: Are you registered to vote

By Darius Spillman

“Are you registered to vote?” It’s a common, and imperative question this time of year. Political advertisements are seen on billboards, television, and often times found in your mailbox. The message is loud and clear, but truthfully, the majority of ads are seen as a nuisance, ignored, and tossed in the trash upon receipt.

A lot of us are ignorant about the importance of voting, simply because we aren’t aware of a candidate’s intentions. We don’t take time out of our busy schedules to study each candidate and determine how that individual can positively affect our personal well-being and the communities we reside in.

As of October 6, 2018, there are 23,091 registered voters in Bladen County. However, the population estimate in Bladen County as of July 1, 2017, is 33,478. Statistically, the Voting Age Population (VAP) is always higher than the turnout, but it shouldn’t be. Every vote counts.

The United States presidential election every four years is controversial, yet the turnout in 2016 was only a little more than half of the 250,056,000 (estimated) VAP. So, if the turnout is low for presidential elections, imagine how people feel about municipal elections.

Voting at a local level matters, because implemented policies affect us on a daily basis. Income taxes, education reform, and reproductive rights are a handful of issues addressed locally. Federal policy changes stem from the local and state level, such as minimum wage and marriage equality.

We all desire what’s best for ourselves, and loved ones. Every year, we can voice our opinions and vote for change or re-elect officials. Understandably, the sun doesn’t always shine, but one vote is all it takes to make a direct impact on our routine lives.

Don’t miss the opportunity! The voter registration deadline is October 12, 2018.

Voter registration application: https://www.ncsbe.gov/Portals/0/Forms/NCVoterRegForm06W.pdf

The voter registration application can be mailed, faxed, emailed or delivered in person to the Bladen County Board of Elections. Their information is below:

Bladen County Board of Elections

PO Box 512

301 S. Cypress St

Elizabethtown, NC  28337

Phone – 910-862-6951

Fax – 910-862-7820

elections@bladenco.org

The One-Stop Voting Location will be at the Bladen County Public Library. The following link will provide the location, dates, and hours:  https://bladennc.govoffice3.com/vertical/Sites/%7B3428E8B4-BA8D-4BCE-9B92- 0A719CB4C4FB%7D/uploads/One- Stop_Location_and_Hours_ General_Election_2018.pdf

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