"My vote doesn't matter."
We've heard this refrain over and over. Voters who have become disillusioned with the voting process -- or with election outcomes -- don't bother to cast their ballot because they believe their vote doesn't count.
In a statewide or national race, this may be true as a few votes aren't likely to determine a winner. But at the local level, every vote matters. This was once again proven Tuesday night when two local races were determined by a handful of votes.
The closest margin of victory came in the showdown between current Dalton Mayor Dennis Mock and former Dalton Mayor David Pennington. Just 11 votes separated the two. Pennington received 1,400 votes (50.05%) to Mock's 1,389 (49.66%). There were eight write-in votes.
In the Seat 5 race for the Varnell City Council, Richard Lowe beat incumbent Bob Roche by 14 votes. Lowe received 118 votes (53%) to 104 votes (47%) for Roche.
Overall turnout for races in Cohutta, Dalton and Varnell was 19.72%, as 3,212 of 16,288 registered votes cast their ballot. We are continually befuddled by the lack of interest local voters show in most elections. Turnout is only high when there is a election for a president or governor. Using the excuse of "I forgot it was Election Day" or "I didn't have time" doesn't hold up, considering early voting gives residents ample opportunity to vote.
A few votes here or there could have changed the outcome of two local races on Tuesday night. So for those residents who blow off voting, we ask that you show up to the polls and make your voices heard.