Monday, November 2, 2015

Vote Tuesday, November 3

Goochlanders are the votingest Virginians—at least in Presidential elections. For the past few leap years, county voters went to the polls in higher percentages—about 85 percent in 2012—that any other jurisdiction in the Commonwealth. Certificates from the State Board of Elections commending our voters are on display in the office of Goochland Registrar Frances Ragland.

This year turnout at Goochland polls is expected to be very low because there are only two contested races. (See GOMM Meet the Candidates.)
Unless you are a wealthy, white male property owner, someone struggled mightily to secure your right to vote. The Women’s Suffrage and Civil Rights movements opened participation in the Sacrament of Democracy—elections--to all citizens.

In America no one forces you to vote. Sadly, people are increasingly turned off by slick negative campaigns and don’t bother to go to the polls. The antics of major political parties seem designed to repel all but a small core of easily controlled followers from the political process. The fewer voters that cast ballots, the easier a particular group can manipulate the outcome of an election, especially when votes are all too susceptible to endlessly repeated strident declarations of “facts”.

Please take a few minutes to vote on Tuesday. Our incumbent elected officials--Constitutional Officers, Supervisors and School Board--have done a great job during the past four years. Even though they are running unopposed, casting a ballot for them is a simple way of saying thanks for all of their hard work in the past and encouraging more of the same in the future.

Let’s make sure that this election is a true reflection of the will of the majority of Goochland voters.

Go to to find out where you vote. The polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Take your kids and let them see you participate in democracy. It will not take long. While you’re there, thank the fine folks who man the polls for their public service. Be sure to bring a photo ID to prevent corruption of the electoral process.

Remember, if you don’t vote, you can’t complain. See you at the polls!


Bob Warwick said...

I generally avoid commenting publicly on Sandie's blogs. But GOMM represents the best effective way to communicate with Goochlanders on a wide scale.

The defamatory tactics employed by the Goochland Republican Committee and its tea party allies (both of which I once favored) against the Clerk of the Circuit Court and Commissioner of the Revenue, in order to elect candidates with no apparent qualifications for these positions, necessitate that the GRC and tea partiers be taken down a peg.

I am therefore asking Goochland voters to make it a priority to go to the polls and vote FOR the INDEPENDENT candidates: Dale Agnew, Jennifer Brown, Jim Agnew, and your school board member, and withhold your vote from any candidate running on the Republican ticket. I realize that this means withholding votes from deserving candidates, notably Claiborne Stokes, but those candidates will be elected anyway. And who knows, maybe a large “withhold” vote will persuade the GRC and tea partiers that their ultimate success is dependent on encouraging good government, not winning at any cost or with any candidate.

Bob Warwick

Manuel said...

I probably shouldn't jump into the fray, but then I would be just like the seemingly unfeeling folks who used to "run" Goochland. Standing pat while others throw stones is just not part of my DNA.

Fortunately, we have great people in Goochland and they still went to the polls and voted for those of us who have worked very hard over the last four years to make Goochland a better place. They also looked past the negative attacks (which is normal in all elections) and voted for the candidates they thought would be best for the job. I hope they are as correct this time as they were four years ago. If not they will have an opportunity to correct it in four years.

Whether right or wrong the opponents raised concerns that will need to be addressed and explained at some point in the near future. Isn't that discussion important to the democratic process? Isn't that the argument GOMM made four years ago? Four years ago our opponents said we had no experience and didn't know what we were talking about, how did that turn out?

Perhaps, just perhaps, rather than getting into the name calling GOMM could have held a candidate forum where citizens could participate and candidates could debate publicly.

Over the last four years GOMM has often recognized the great work that has transformed us from a scandal ridden and financial quagmire to a AAA bonded county. Prodding voters to "teach us a lesson" by not voting does not encourage good people to step up in the future to continue to make Goochland great. It just encourages more of the petty politics that have so divided Americans.