Last updated: April 17. 2014 3:54PM - 523 Views

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There’s no excuse for not voting in this year’s primary election. There are ample times to handle any excuse that might come up for not voting between next Thursday, April 24, and the May 6 primary.

Early voting gets under way on April 24, and the Sampson County Board of Elections is offering daily opportunities for residents to work a stop by the BOE offices into their daily routine. Voters can do so beginning at 8 a.m. that Thursday, the first day of voting and continuing through May 3. The Board of Elections is located at 335 County Complex Road (Building D), which is just off Rowan Road.

The office will be open for one-stop voting from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. weekdays. On Saturday, April 26, hours will be from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., and the final day for early voting, Saturday, May 3, the office will open from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. There is no Sunday voting this year.

But even without Sunday hours, early voting, which includes curbside voting for those unable to leave their vehicles to cast ballots inside, really leaves few, if any, viable excuses not to be an active participant in the electoral process.

We encourage everyone to vote early, ensuring that your voice is heard in this all-important election, which will determine leaders in Republican and Democratic county commissioners primary races, a Democratic race for sheriff, a countywide alcohol referendum and several primaries for U.S. congressional races, among others. In other words, there are many reasons to cast a ballot, and doing so early only adds an exclamation point to the process.

But for those who can’t cast that ballot by May 3, there’s always the primary, itself, on Tuesday, May 6.

It really doesn’t matter when you cast your vote, what matters is that you do, and that you, in voting, make informed choices that reflect your own views and your own desires for our county, the state of North Carolina and the United States of America.

Although there’s been much about the most recent election seasons that have been anything but palatable, the one good thing that seems to have come from it all is a renewed excitement in the political process.

More people than ever, particularly young adults, want to vote, and no matter which candidate you are for in any race, that Americans have found interest again in letting their voices be heard through their vote is likely the best thing that will come from the May primary.

We hope the same spark of interest that has ignited a nation will fuel the political fires in Sampson County as well, drawing more people to the polls than ever before, both on May 6 and again in November.

We have had remarkable turnouts over the course of the last few years, but there have also been dismal voting periods.

Given this is not a presidential primary, we worry about the turnout, which should be good no matter who is or isn’t on a ballot.

In truth, every election is important. The choices made are those that will directly impact each and every American.

We encourage voting every time an election rolls around; we encourage voters to think for themselves and make the choices that are in their own hearts; and we continue to do so today.

So cast your vote early or on May 6. But whatever you do, please don’t stay home and allow someone else to make your decisions for you.

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