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Tomorrow is election day here in Sarasota, with three out five commission seats up for grabs. That means if you live in districts 1, 2, or 3 (that means everyone in the city of Sarasota) your vote counts!! In 2009, when two at-large commission seats were up for election, only 20% of registered voters—not total residents, only registered voters—came to the polls. In the end, the difference between being elected and not being elected was a mere 104 votes.

Your vote is critical for a number of reasons. With so few ballots cast, your vote really does count. More than that, though, and no matter how you vote, voting is a cornerstone of democratic society. The less we vote, the less democratic our society is. Also, while we might be electing officials to represent us, those officials do not constitute “the city” on their own. We, the residents, the citizens, are the city. Voting is a privilege, but it is also the responsibility of citizens. If we are the city, it is up to us to inform ourselves and exercise our authority as citizens.

Civic involvement is one of the qualities that makes Laurel Park a special place. You don’t have to live here long to know how passionate our residents feel about their neighborhood (us included!). When passion leads to action, anything is possible. So speak with your vote tomorrow and do your part to make Sarasota as good as it can be!

Okay, I’ll climb off the soapbox now. For all election-related information, visit sarasotavotes.com