Cumberland County has around 39,000 registered voters, as well as a strong reputation for voter participation.  However, as of press time on Tuesday, only 4,300 residents had taken advantage of early voting for the Aug. 7 primary and general elections. Local officials are predicting less than 50 percent of registered voters will cast their vote in the 14 days of early voting, plus election day. Only 23 percent of registered county voters participated in the May elections.

Cumberland County voters are facing many significant decisions in the upcoming elections and all registered voters are encouraged to make their voice heard. Early voting is now taking place for the Aug. 7 primary and general elections and will continue through Saturday, Aug. 2 at the County Election Commission office, 2 S. Main Street in Crossville. The polls are open from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. through Friday and 8 a.m. – noon on Saturday, which is the last day for early voting. Polls will reopen on Election Day, Aug. 7, from 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. However, longer lines are to be expected for those who wait until Election Day.

Voting is an important part of being a responsible citizen. A sample ballot has been provided by the Election Commission on pages 8B - 9B of today's Glade Sun. Readers are reminded they do not have to vote in every race;  it is permissible to skip voting for candidates they don't know or are unsure about. All citizens need to be reminded that elected officials represent all citizens, and make many critical decisions that affect everyone. As one prominent resident noted, "Registered voters who do not vote forfeit their right to complain."