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Editorial: Greenfield, get out and vote today

Today is an opportunity for Greenfield residents to participate in one of the community’s most storied and valuable traditions — going to the polls and voting.

Municipal and school elections are the most direct link between those who are served by their government and those who serve the government. With the marking of our ballots, we are voicing an opinion on not only who we favor in this particular contest, but also who we entrust to provide the leadership with an eye on today and the future.

Yet for all the importance that such voting carries, we know from experience that the polls at the Grange on Chapman Street will probably not see a constant flow of Greenfield residents throughout the day and into the evening. Sadly, we know that there will be plenty of men and women who, though registered to vote today, won’t take — or make — the time to take on this civic duty.

We have never understood that decision, here or anywhere else in this country.

Opting out ignores one of the most fundamental principles upon which this nation was founded — that of a government made up of men and women who represent the interests of the people. The need for a voice in our affairs and the possibility of being heard drove people to break away from the parliament and throne across the Atlantic Ocean that had lost touch.

It sparked acts of rebellion — and bloodshed — because freedom has its price.

Since then, our country has been a model, of sorts, of participatory and representative government. It isn’t always smooth going and it isn’t always pretty. But it has remained a way of governing that is the envy of many people and many lands around the globe.

In the years since 1776, we have also seen the depth of the desire of countless people elsewhere to cast a ballot under the most rudimentary or hazardous conditions. People walk for miles to a polling place or dodge bullets to take part — to make themselves heard.

In comparison, we have it easy, but today’s turnout in Greenfield is unlikely to come anywhere close to full participation. Too many people will choose to stay away from the polls, not because of fear, but because they can’t be bothered.

That’s not only sad, that’s tragic.

We would be glad to be proved wrong — Greenfield, by your showing your interest, your civic pride and voting today.

To all those who are running for public office today, thank you.

And for those working the polls to ensure that voting is as easy as possible, thank you as well.

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