Voting expresses faith in America
Johnny Mack Morrow
As the historic election comes to a close, it is a good time to reflect on our form of government, and why America is the greatest country on the earth.
President Harry S. Truman had a clear perspective on democracy that folks could understand.
"Democracy is, first and foremost, a spiritual force, it is built upon a spiritual basis – and on a belief in God and an observance of moral principle," he wrote.
Truman understood that faith plays a critical role in America. Our abiding belief is one of the great strengths of our country.
Truman also understood that our faith is extended to our public institutions, such as our common belief in the integrity of elections. The vast majority of Americans understand democracy is the right form of government, where citizens make decisions on their leaders and on issues that impact them.
They believe that people should cast their vote, and that the will of the people shall reign.
But look around the world and you will quickly see that what we have in America is often an exception, not the rule.
We have tough campaigns; there is little doubt about that during this election. If you've seen the television commercials, received the campaign mail, or heard the radio ads, then you quickly understand that politics is a contact sport.
However, in other countries there are no elections. Or when there are elections, they often lead to violence, or a rigged process that no one believes in. Our faith in the idea that people should decide, and that voting is the best way to set up government, is a shining example to the world.
The upcoming vote certainly has Alabamians more excited than ever. There is little doubt among election officials that more Alabamians will participate in this election than ever before.
No matter what side of the political divide you may find yourself, the more people participating in the voting process, the better off we all are.
For the first time ever, voter registration in Alabama has passed the 2.9 million mark. County election officials have been handling an unprecedented amount of new registration applications.
However, with the record number of applications, it is likely that there will be some problems.
Registrars have been working day and night to process the backlog of voter registration applications, but there is always a chance that a new voter may not get on the rolls before Election Day.
If you don't find your name on the rolls, but think that you are entitled to vote, you may ask to cast a provisional ballot.
Election officials have one week to determine if a person was an eligible voter and if so, that vote is added to the totals.
Let us hope that few provisional ballots will be needed.
All election officials are working hard to make sure that is the case.
Alabama is in better shape than many states as far as our ballot system is concerned.
We all remember the problems in Florida in 2000 that caused such controversy. We have heard of problems with electronic voting machines in other states and the serious concern about security in those systems.
Investments in new scanning machines in many counties now provide the best of both systems.
There is a paper ballot that will provide a clear record of voter intent if a recount is necessary, and when the ballot is scanned at the polling place, an electronic count is available that will speed up election results.
Go vote November 4.
No matter whom you vote for, or what party you support, by going to the polls you express your faith in America.
Johnny Mack Morrow is a state representative for Franklin County. His column appears each Wednesday.