Don’t ever think your vote doesn’t count

Tuesday’s municipal election in Donalsonville should be a testament to the power of each and every vote.
With all eligible votes counted, Dan E. Ponder, Jr. was elected Mayor over opponent Twynette D. Reynolds – by just two votes.
We’ve had close elections in Donalsonville and Seminole County in the past with the November 1971 race between Kenneth L. Hornsby and John Ed Collins for City Council possibly being the closest. Hornsby won by one vote.
Last week’s election is just the latest example of how important each and every vote is. Regardless of who your candidate preference was on Tuesday, November 5, it is certain that every vote mattered.
If you are one of the hundreds who did not bother to vote, perhaps Tuesday’s results will give you the encouragement to participate in the next election.
To the supporters of Mayor-elect Ponder, each one of you should be happy you voted. It only took two of you to put your candidate over the top.
It is disappointing that so few of the 1849 registered voters in the city of Donalsonville bothered to vote in the mayor’s race.
The unofficial turnout using the total number of registered voters rather than the total number of regular registered voters, according to election officials, was a sad 37%. That’s not a whole lot better than the 2009 contested mayor’s race when the turnout was less than 32%.
In the 2013 election, Ponder and Reynolds split 688 votes. Does that mean only 688 people care about the direction our city takes in the future? I certainly hope not.
Why bother to register to vote and take up the time of our hard-working and dedicated election officials if you are not going to take the time to actually vote? If you did not vote, what exactly was your excuse? It could not have been time or convenience because three weeks of advance voting opportunities and easy accessibility to absentee ballots gave you plenty of time and provided the simplest of methods to exercise your right.
Voting is a honor and a privilege that obviously some of us take for granted. Not everyone in this world is afforded the right to vote and we have our veterans and our forefathers to thank for taking that right seriously, putting their lives on the line to gain it and selflessly defending our right to still have it.
It would be my hope that having a close election such as the one we just had would empower voters to get involved, celebrate their right to vote and make their voices heard.
Don’t ever think that your vote doesn’t count.  
It is a fact that every vote counts. Just ask Ponder and Reynolds.

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