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As you read this, we are four days away from our mid-term elections. This election cycle is the mid-point of the election of the president/vice-president and is generally a referendum on the performance of the current administration. And it is the election of our governor, lieutenant governor and other state officials here in Alabama, but the party primaries pretty much take care of that. So, do we really have anything to get excited about to get us to the polls this year?
The main thing on our local ballots are the constitutional amendments that we need to consider. Two years ago the citizens of Alabama voted to have our constitution “reorganized” to make it easier to read. We have the LONGEST state constitution in the country!
Since it was written in 1901, all amendments have been basically added in chronological order versus by topic, so it is very difficult to do research into what our most current laws actually are AND what old laws are still valid! This reorganization will help rectify this – most importantly by grouping local amendments by counties since there are so many pieces of local legislation that govern only specific areas of the state. There will also be a limited amount of language changes made to delete some racist and/or out-of-date wording.
Generally speaking, I vote no on anything that relates to our state or national constitution because I don’t think constitutions are meant to be played with. However, these amendments are not about adding or deleting laws. They are strictly about cleaning up a document to help us better understand how to read it. And that is something we all need to be able to do so we can find out what our rights are. This time I will be voting FOR these amendments.
I have been pleasantly surprised in the lack of mudslinging that has gone on in our local elections. When candidates start that, I sometimes just don’t vote in that particular race. Elections should be about the issues, procedures and visions that the voters are concerned about. This is where the election becomes more tuned to the national arena. We are now facing some critical issues that are controlled at the national level rather than the state level. So again, here in Alabama we don’t really have any real controversial races to consider.
Tuesday night we will be watching what is going on in other states who have elections that can change the course of the political picture. The issues that are important to so many of us will be decided by people in the other states who will vote to keep the status quo or vote for a change. Inflation, border security, law enforcement/crime, and taxes are all on the ballot in these other states. There are U.S. House and Senate seats that are very competitive that will possibly change the direction our country will go for the near future. The turnout for this election is VERY important.
With all of that said, PLEASE go vote Tuesday! Regardless of anything else, this is our right and our responsibility. If you are happy with the way things are, GO SAY SO. If you are unhappy, GO SAY SO. Part of the problem we face is that so many people have just decided their vote does not matter so they just stay home. Your vote might not change the outcome, but at least you will have made your opinion known. And, there have been some votes that were decided by very few votes one way or the other.
Now I will change the topic slightly and share with you how wonderful our country is outside of Coosa County and Alabama! I have just come back from a 26-day journey to Maine and back, seeing 17 states and the District of Columbia. We saw amazing scenery, historical sites, presidential libraries, presidential homes, Civil War sites, Revolutionary War sites, and some really unusual/strange things!
I’m 70 years old, and this was a trip of a lifetime – I urge you all to travel when you are young, even if it’s on a shoestring. The memories and experiences are so worth it!
I took some of Larry’s ashes with me and left him at many of the places I know he would have loved! He was fed to trout and other fish; thrown off mountains and bridges; spread under a tree at the sub base he served on in Groton, Connecticut; under the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Tree at Arlington Cemetery; and spread around a bison farm where we spent two nights!
I had planned to go to San Antonio this weekend to skydive, but my partner had to cancel. But, not to worry, I have finally found someone else to do it locally after the first of the year!
Next adventure is a flight to Honolulu and cruise around the Hawaiian Islands. I’ll also get one of my main bucket list items marked off – Pearl Harbor and Ford Island! I’m not letting moss grow under MY feet!
Even though I love the adventures, it’s always good to come back home to Coosa County!