Brian Corley addresses Wesley Chapel Chamber Economic Development Committee members at a July meeting.
Brian Corley addresses Wesley Chapel Chamber Economic Development Committee members at a July meeting.

Guest editorial by Brian Corley

Pasco County Supervisor of Elections

As your Supervisor of Elections, I take very seriously the responsibility of encouraging and motivating citizens to vote. I firmly believe that our freedom, which came at such a huge cost to others, requires responsibility on the part of every American — beginning with the privilege of casting a ballot. Veterans, including my own grandfather, have crossed oceans to fight for our democracy, and yet others won’t even cross the street to vote when given the opportunity! This is why it’s important that the voters of Wesley Chapel — and all voters within our great county — exercise this precious right.

Wesley Chapel is about to be in the election spotlight in 2014, as Commissioner Pat Mulieri, who has represented the District 2 area (which includes all of Wesley Chapel) for many years, is retiring. As such, the open seat will invariably draw many candidates who wish to represent the Wesley Chapel area (see page 1). Although county commissioners are elected countywide, this seat is important for the residents of Wesley Chapel because the District 2 county commissioner is your go-to for constituent services as it relates to county government.

Whenever I’m asked if it’s important to vote in every election and if someone’s vote really does count, my answer is always a resounding “Yes!” As Supervisor of Elections with first-hand experience, I can attest that every single vote is counted, and there is no such thing as an “unimportant” election.

Among the seats up for the 2014 election are the District 2 & 4 located (just west of Wesley Chapel’s District 2) County Commissioner seats, County Court Judge Group 5 and three School Board seats, which affect students and parents at schools countywide.

Every time a voter chooses not to vote, his or her freedom of choice is relinquished to others to make decisions for them. With that in mind, it only makes sense that voting in local elections should always be a priority. It’s these local elected officials who actually have a greater impact on our daily lives than do our federally elected officials.

All voters — Democrats, Republicans, third party supporters and voters with no party affiliation — have a stake in our future with any election. Electing a representative government has been deeply embedded in our heritage for more than 400 years, and has become part of the American identity.

With three convenient ways to vote — by mail, by voting early at specified locations or at the ballot box on Election Day — and the flexibility of different options for voting, there really is no excuse to not participate in your civic duty.

The next time you’re tempted to skip out on any election, I encourage you to remember these three powerful words, “Freedom requires responsibility.”

In my opinion, that’s a small price to pay.


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