Why Vote When There Is No Contest? It Is Important, No Contest!

February 23, 2024

Voting is only one step in exercising our town’s political muscles. It does not matter that there are no contested races in this year’s town election. Voting encourages your neighbor and his or her other neighbors to pay attention to our town government. Following their example, others may choose to serve. Together, we form a team that makes our small, direct democracy work. 

It is gratifying to see good people step forward to fill every open position this year. Each one keeps the machinery of government running. They do everything from overseeing large projects and big budgets to protecting trees and managing precious trails. 

Those who serve Bedford in any capacity learn how our town operates and some day may be moved to accept a larger responsibility. Then, when there is a contested election or a tough local decision to be made, we will have a cadre of experienced, dedicated townspeople to draw upon. 

Remember that this is also a presidential election year, so your voting muscles can also be activated at the Presidential Primary on March 5 and the General Election on Nov. 5. (Early and absentee voting dates are available.) And there is the Bedford Annual Town Meeting on Monday, March 25 and the Special Town Meeting in the fall.

On the night of his return to “The Daily Show” after a nine-year hiatus, Jon Stuart commented on the hard work of democracy:  

“I’ve learned one thing over these last nine years, and I was glib at best and probably dismissive at worst about this: The work of making this world resemble one that you would prefer to live in is a lunch pail [expletive] job, day in and day out, where thousands of committed, anonymous, smart and dedicated people bang on closed doors and pick up those that are fallen and grind away on issues until they get a positive result, and even then, have to stay on to make sure that result holds. So, the good news is, I’m not saying you don’t have to worry about who wins the election. I’m saying you have to worry about every day before it and every day after, forever. Although, on the plus side, I am told that at some point, the sun will run out of hydrogen.” 

— JON STEWART

So yes – go vote, and on your way out, thank the clerks and poll workers who helped make it happen.

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