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Friday, Jul 25th

Last updateFri, 25 Jul 2014 7am

You are here: Home Opinion Paula I. Bryant Your vote counts

Your vote counts

Are you registered to vote?

The deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 5 election is Tuesday, Oct. 15.

On Nov. 5, Halifax County voters will cast ballots for Virginia governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general, as well as for the 60th District House of Delegates.

Also on the ballot are elections for Halifax County Board of Supervisors and Halifax County School Board in ED-2, ED-3 and ED-6, as well as elections in the towns of South Boston and Halifax.

Voters also will decide between two candidates for Halifax County Commonwealth’s Attorney.

Now more than ever, it’s important to know that one vote counts.

Anyone will tell you this year’s gubernatorial election is going to be a close one, and every single vote will count.

Your vote is important, and here’s a few examples of why.

John F. Kennedy won the presidency by less than one vote per precinct nationwide.

Eight years later, Richard Nixon defeated Hubert Humphrey by less than two votes per precinct.

A shift of fewer than 10,000 votes in two states — Hawaii and Ohio — would have given Gerald Ford an electoral vote presidential victory over Jimmy Carter.

In 1984, Frank McCloskey became Congressman from Indiana’s 8th District by only four votes out of more than 233,000 votes cast.

Offices from president to senator to local positions have often been won by one voter out of every hundred.

Get the message?

You could be that one voter because one vote, your vote, counts.

 

•••

Another terrible wreck seriously injured a Nathalie woman last Friday morning when the truck she was driving struck a number a trees off Highway 501 in Volens. 

That stretch of road between Halifax and Brookneal is deadly, chalking up a number of fatal crashes over the decades. 

The road is one of the major thoroughfares to north-central and north-western parts of Virginia. It carries a lot of traffic daily, especially school buses and logging trucks, and that’s speaking from first-hand experience.

I drove it back and forth to work for 17 years straight between 1990 and 2007 and have covered many of the tragic wrecks that occurred over the years on this stretch of roadway.

If you want to go to Lynchburg and other localities around the “Hill City,” 501 is the shortest route. Sure, you can take Rt. 57 to Chatham and then hit Rt. 29 north, but it takes longer, and 57 – or 832 as I always refer to it -- is pretty narrow to boot!

(I’m very familiar with that road too, having worked in Chatham from 1982 to 1990.)

But back to the dangers of Highway 501…

I don’t believe the section of road between Halifax and Brookneal was designed to handle the volume of traffic traveling on it today. 

It’s a topic that’s been discussed for as long as I can remember, but it may be time for our good friends at VDOT to start another push to widen 501 to four lanes. 

I know it’s going to cost a fortune, and there will continue to be fights over transportation costs in the Virginia General Assembly, but this is not a matter of being able to get somewhere in a little less time…it’s a matter of saving lives.

Wrecks will continue to happen even after 501 is four-laned, but four-laning it from Halifax to the county line south of Brookneal surely would make a difference, in my humble opinion.

Improvements are in the works for sections of the road, and we appreciate that may be all that is feasible at the current time.

Honestly, I don’t expect to see it happen in my lifetime, but one can hope.

 

•••

It was another successful South Boston Harvest Festival Saturday, and the weather was perfect for the 22nd annual event.

Congratulations to the organizers on another job well done. The entertainment was great, the food was scrumptious, and the folks were friendly. All in all, I believe everyone had a rousing good time.

And the fun isn’t stopping. This week the 103rd Halifax County Fair is underway promising something for all ages.

Todd Moser, general manager for this year’s fair, has been busy for the past six months planning and preparing for this fun-filled week that is sure to please young and old alike. 

He’ll be there every night this week overseeing the festivities, so if you see him meandering about, be sure to tell him thanks for bringing the annual county fair to town for yet another year.