Saturday is yet another opportunity to exercise our right to vote in an election.

It is a runoff between Pat Christ and Jackeline Fountain to fill the Place 3 position on the Harker Heights City Council.

Is it just as important as the presidential election? By all means, yes!

It is often the grassroots local elections that really make the difference when it comes to political decisions and the future of our cities, counties, states and nation.

There are more than 18,000 eligible voters in the city of Harker Heights, so why is it that just a little over 300 cast their votes in this runoff election.

It’s an indication of a serious problem. Call it apathy if you like, or others feel it doesn’t make any difference to me.

That’s where many citizens are wrong. You’ve heard the stories where one vote made the difference in a candidate winning over another. It can happen.

The right to vote was paid for by the blood of those who felt that this excercise was one of the most important things we could do in this life.

Those who set up the voting system did so in a way to make it convenient by way of early voting, voting by mail and transportation to and from a polling site.

It’s simple and there’s really no excuse for not taking advantage to make our voices heard. It’s the only way the common man becomes part of the system.

When taking a college-level political science class, I will never forget one thing the teacher said. His name was Dick Laird and he said, “If you don’t vote, you have no right to complain about what legislators are doing. If you want change, do it at the voting box,” he said.

That sentiment will live on after we’re gone.

If we don’t exercise it now, widespread apathy will overcome this nation and we’ll be handing down to our children and grandchildren a legislative and justice system that only wreaks havoc among the citizens of this great nation.

I’ll admit that I could improve the amount of research I do about candidates before I go to the polls.

There have been countless times when I’ve stared at names on the ballot that I knew nothing about. I recognize those who I’ve seen on television but the others are new to me.

It’s important to be educated about the candidates and the voting process. With politics comes power, and if you’re just guessing, then you might be making a dangerous mistake.

Please join me Saturday and vote in the runoff election. You’ll feel good about the fact that you took part in something that will make a difference.

It’s for the young and the old, so don’t miss it.

Bob Massey is a Herald correspondent.

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