Scott Underwood: 10 good reasons to vote in today's primary

May 7—Six a.m. to six p.m. today. Those are the hours voting centers in Madison County will be open for the primary.

Twelve hours to fulfill your civic responsibility — unless, of course, you've already done so by voting early.

If you haven't, here are 10 of the many good reasons to take the time to vote today:

10. Enjoy a mild day. The weather is supposed to be nice, with a chance for just a little rain. Not too hot. Not too cold. A nice day to get out and about.

9. Catch up with old friends. If you're like me, you invariably to run into at least a few folks you know at the polls. You can share with them the fraternal bond felt among civic-minded American citizens.

8. Vote wherever you like. With 30 voting centers sprinkled across the county, you don't have to go to any one particular place to cast your ballot. If you live in Frankton but work in Anderson, for example, you can vote at any of the Anderson sites for convenience. And vice versa.

7. Show appreciation for poll workers. Be nice, and it will make their day. Take the opportunity to say thank you for helping one of our country's most important mechanisms of democracy work smoothly.

6. Stop by a restaurant and enjoy a post-voting treat. Heck, if you show them your ballot receipt or "I Voted" sticker, they might even give you a discount.

5. Make your voice heard. In the primary, you have to choose between a Republican and Democratic ballot. Just by choosing, you're endorsing a party and adding to its strength.

4. Cast a vote for you. By voting for the candidates that best fit your philosophy of good public service, you're essentially casting a vote for you and your beliefs. In the meantime, you're helping boost your candidates of choice to the General Election in November.

3. Or be a contrarian. You can ask for whichever ballot you want. If your beliefs are mostly aligned with the Democratic Party, you can still choose a Republican ticket (or vice versa) and then vote for candidates who are the most moderate — or perhaps the least likely to win in November.

2. Make history. When you cast your ballot, you're part of a proud tradition of Americans participating in the Democratic process, stretching all the way back to the late 18th century.

1. Do it because you can. We Americans have the privilege of electing peers rather than accepting whatever a communist or fascist government decides. Millions of people across the globe can only dream of the liberty — and political influence — enjoyed by ordinary Americans like you and me.

Editor Scott Underwood's column appears Tuesdays. Like him on Facebook. Contact him at or 640-4845.