Election Day is 42 days away. The deadline to register to vote is only 13 days away.
If you are the least bit interested in continuing or improving the democratic process in this country, those two dates should stir a little anxiety in you.
Several organizations are working together to rev up voter involvement and help us tune in to the upcoming election.
Tuesday is National Voter Registration Day, and to emphasize the importance of getting our younger citizens involved with government and possibly making or changing policy, the League of Women Voters of Lexington and the Social Action Committee of The Lexington Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. are heading back to high school.
Volunteers will be at Bryan Station, Lafayette and Paul Laurence Dunbar high schools from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday to register new voters. Students who are 18 by the general election on Nov. 4 are eligible to register and vote. Volunteers were at Tates Creek and Henry Clay on Monday.
In addition, the Deltas will host a voter registration and education blitz from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Charles Young Community Center, 540 East Third Street. Part of that time will be spent educating voters about candidates and their platforms in the center's auditorium, and part of the time will be spent knocking on doors in the community, registering voters.
"Our sorority was founded on social activism," said Chrysanthia F. Carr-Seals, co-chair of the social action committee. "One of our responsibilities is to make people aware of how voting can impact their lives."
In order to make the right choices, voters need to understand the voting process and what the candidates stand for, she said.
"We are non-partisan," Carr-Seals said. "We do not influence voters to vote for any party or any candidate."
The league wants you to know that half of the seats in the Kentucky Senate and all of the seats in the state House of Representatives are in the mix this election. Plus there are Urban County Council district and at-large candidates hoping to win your vote.
A longtime non-partisan organization of women and men that encourages participation in the political process, the league has scheduled 24 candidate forums, starting Saturday in the Farish Theater at the Lexington Central Library, 140 East Main Street.
A complete schedule is available in the league's September Voter Newsletter on Lwvlexington.com or by calling (859) 494-3203.
At 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 30, the league will moderate a Meet the Candidates Forum with Mayor Jim Gray and his opponent, Anthany Beatty. The Eastland Parkway Neighborhood Association is hosting that one at Spencerian College, 1575 Winchester Road, to give voters a chance to question the candidates and discuss issues important to them.
Operation Turnout, another non-partisan organization, has set up four forums for district and at-large council races, as well as a mayoral and U.S. Congress and Senate forum.
A forum for the 2nd District Council race, featuring incumbent Shevawn Akers and challenger Michael Stuart, will be at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Charles H. Quillings Neighborhood Building in St. Martin Village.
Operation Turnout's community-wide council-at-large forum will be held at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 30 at the Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center, 300 East Third Street. The mayoral forum will be at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 7 at Shiloh Baptist Church, 237 East Fifth Street, and the U.S. Congressional and Senate candidates are scheduled to appear on Oct. 21 at Shiloh.
Operation Turnout was organized in 2010 to engage more economically disadvantaged people and people of color in politics.
First things first, though.
Get registered by Oct. 6. Make sure your 18-year-old is registered. Then attend one of the candidate forums that fits your schedule and listen carefully. Ask questions if you can.
We have too much gun violence in our community, a lack of jobs, the possibility of returning to inadequate health care and a lot of elements drawing us into another war.
The last thing Lexington or this country needs is a politician in name only. We need activists who are working for us.
There is only one way to make that point: by casting a ballot.
There are several groups trying to make us aware of that. The least we can do is listen and follow through.