Serving Barnwell County and it's neighbors since 1852

Why should I vote? Because it is important


Publisher’s Note: This “On the Rise” column from former publisher Laura J. McKenzie was originally published in June 2014. It’s ­being republished because current publisher Jonathan Vickery thinks the message is still pertinent today, even 10 years later, and he couldn’t have phrased it any better than his former boss. It has only been edited to update dates for 2024.

“Why?” he asked.
“Why what?” I asked back, looking at the toddler pulling on my dress.
“Why are we here?” he countered?
“I’m here to vote,” I said, holding his hand as we stepped one person closer to the voting booth.
“Why?” was the repeated question.
Boy, that was a simple question. How do you explain the rights and privileges of voting to a 3-year-old?
“Because we all get to have a say who will be our leaders. You play follow the leader? Well, we set aside a day to choose the leader we want to follow. Understand?”
His little blonde head bobbed up and down, but I am not quite sure he understood.
“Can I vote?” his innocent desire voiced.
“When you get older, son. In the meantime, why don’t you help Mommy cast her vote?”
I picked him up and showed him which button I had selected.
As he grew older and became more interested in politics, I watched as this young man anticipated the day when his name would be on the voting rolls, his choices selected, and his ballot counted.
Even when he has been on the road, working to earn a living, he has tried to cast his ballot.
It is important to him.
As it should be. People in the United States have the right and the responsibility to vote.
That right is often taken for granted and the responsibility forgotten in the busy pressures of the day.
We are quick to argue over political choices but slow to show up at the polls.
We make plans to go vote and then get distracted, only to be dismayed that our candidate lost by a handful of votes.
I have seen candidates lose by a single vote. That single vote changed the tide of taxation and services for that political area for years.
Next week we have the opportunity to make choices. On Tuesday, June 11, there will be a primary held. Candidates for sheriff, county council, S.C. Senate, S.C. House, and U.S. Congress will be on the ballot.
The candidates will be different depending on whether you choose to vote Republican or Democrat in the primary.
Between now and then, we ask that you look over the candidate profiles we published in our May 22 and May 29 editions (also found at, check out the websites, and talk to the candidates.
Make educated choices.
And then, make a choice.
Get your I.D. ready to take with you.
Plan your day around it.
Go to the polls.
It is your right.
It is your privilege.
It is important.