Be sure to cast your vote and SUBSCRIBE

Raise your hand if you’re ready for this election cycle to reach its conclusion.

Wow! A lot of hands just went up and I agree with all of you. Nov. 3 can’t come soon enough.

I really need to address two things in this column and I’ll get the shameless plug out of the way right away. 

If you’re not a current subscriber you’re wondering why the Register arrived in your mailbox today. It’s simply a gift from us. A no-strings-attached opportunity for you to take a look at the Register and decide if you like what you see.

We hope you like what you see and decide to cast a vote that says, YES, I’ll subscribe to the Register. I’m a broken record when I say that’s how we save local journalism – one paid subscription at a time.

Understanding that times are tough we are offering a ONE WEEK special to help you get access to the paper at a heavily discounted price. Being the marketing genius (not!) that I am I came up with the 2020 = $40 off campaign this week. Get it? Something GOOD in what can only be described as a brutal year so far. 

One week only - $40 off a year subscription – call 605-692-6271 or email [email protected] to get started right away. 

OK, on to the most important topic I need to cover – voting.

This is simply my time to urge ALL of you registered voters to head to the polls and cast your ballot. It’s a General Election so the ballot is full of candidates and also three ballot initiatives. Don’t ever think your vote doesn’t matter. It does. Just vote.

And make a goal to yourself to vote every time you can. Every election. Every referendum. Let your voice be heard. Make voting a priority this year, and every year. 

We don’t tell you who to vote for. We don’t do endorsements. I’m a firm believer in it’s YOUR decision and the Register telling you who to vote for is just not the job of a newspaper. Especially a small, local daily newspaper.

But it is our job to help familiarize yourself with candidates and the issues surrounding this election. Leading up the election we have profiled local candidates, giving you all a chance to see where the candidates stand on state and county issues.

On Wednesday, we will insert our annual Election Guide into the Register. Be sure to watch for that and study what the candidates have to say. ALL were given the same opportunity to fill out a FREE questionnaire and return to us. We had 100 percent participation. Thanks to the candidates for making it a priority.

I had the opportunity to have a pleasant visit on Friday with Jenna Byrd, senior finance assistant at Brookings County. I’m going to stop short of dubbing her the election supervisor, but she had all the election data I was seeking right at her fingertips.

My athletic career turned me into a real stat geek. A data guy. I just can’t get enough and I quizzed Jenna for some statistics and this is what I found out.

As of Friday, 5,938 ballots have already been cast in Brookings County. I’m certain by the time you read this that number will be 6,000. By comparison, in the 2016 General Election, 4,654 ballots were cast ahead of the election. That’s almost a 25% increase. Impressive. You can vote in person at the city/county building right up until election day. The process is smooth. I voted in September and was in and out five minutes.

There are 19,682 active voters in Brookings County so voter turnout is almost 30% with eight days to go until the big day. In the 2016 general, there were 16,521 votes cast in Brookings County.

The race is in the final stretches. Get out there and make your voice heard, and in addition to checking the box for your preferred candidate, cast a ballot for the Register and SUBSCRIBE.

Billy McMacken is the publisher of The Brookings Register, and if you made it this far you just learned he is going to run for office in 2022. 


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