The national midterm elections are less than a month away, on Nov. 6, another chance to let our leaders know how we feel about how they have been taking care of business. The ballot is relatively long, with candidates for Louisiana Secretary of State, school boards in Terrebonne and Lafourche, a judgeship and our representatives in Congress.
It is your opportunity to weigh in on matters political, to send a message regarding performance on several levels.
But to cast a ballot, you must be a registered voter, and one registration deadline passed yesterday.
GeauxVote: While you can no longer register at your registrar's office or by mail, “the deadline to register to vote through the GeauxVote Online Registration System is Oct. 16.”
GeauxVote.com is the Internet site of the Louisiana Secretary of State. If you lack a computer with Internet connections or lack computer skills, both computers and assistance are available at most public libraries.
Double check! If you think you are registered, but it has been a while since you actually voted, or you “registered” while renewing your driver's license, check at GeauxVote.com to be sure that your name is in the poll book. It also has your voting location.
Culprits? There's been lots of widely publicized controversy from Washington lately, likely to affect the coming elections, but be careful where you put the blame. The late comedian George Carlin had something to say about that:
“Don't blame the leaders,” he wrote in 2001. “You might've noticed that I never complain about the politicians. I leave that to others. And there is no shortage of volunteers; everyone complains about politicians.
“But where do people think these politicians come from? They don't fall out of the sky. They come from American homes, American families, American schools, American churches and American businesses. And they are elected by American voters. This is what our system produces, folks.”
Carlin had a well-deserved reputation for coarse language, which I edited out, but the point is clear. Through our voting, or failing to vote, American citizens are responsible for electing those politicians we complain about. Study the ballot and go vote.
More: November's ballot also has six proposed amendments to the Louisiana Constitution, plus a statewide proposition to authorize fantasy sports betting within each parish. For a comprehensive explanation of those issues, visit parlouisiana.org. Often, citizens simply forget the election. Urge your family and neighbors to vote. If transportation is the problem, offer to drive them.
Dance Sunday: The dance takes place 2-5 p.m. Sunday at the Lockport Fire Station, 806 Crescent Ave. Doors open at 1. Ricky F. and Philip C will play. The cost is $10 a person. Bring your own drinks and snacks. Ice is furnished. No smoking.
Trivial matter: If your memory is cluttered with stray facts acquired over years of education, reading and travel, join the gang at the monthly Friends of the Terrebonne Public Library trivia contest at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Main Library in Houma. Come single, or come in groups. Teams are formed on the spot, by drawing. The modest admission fee is waived for Friends members. Enjoy prizes, light refreshments and friendly fellowship.
Mississippi drive: We made a quick visit to relatives on the Gulf Coast Thursday, combined with a little travel business in Gulfport. In years past, we would have stayed overnight, but no more; my stepmother-in-law died earlier this year, the last of the family. Instead, we refreshed the flowers marking the gravesites of my father and mother-in-law without even visiting the community in Pass Christian where Katrina obliterated their home near the beach.
We stuck to I-10 mostly, and the trip over was relatively quick, despite beach-goers getting an early start on the long Columbus Day weekend. We returned too close to 5 p.m. and “enjoyed” a rush hour's worth of bumper-to-bumper crawl, dodging the occasional ambulance. A trip highlight was using an I-phone app to locate gas 15 cents per gallon cheaper than the going rate.
Responding? Contact Bill Ellzey at 381-6256, at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, or c/o The Courier, P.O. Box 2717, Houma, LA 70361.