The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

May 18, 2013

Pondering 2 important things: voting and ‘mums’

By Lynn Saternow
The Herald

---- — HERE ARE some thoughts from a guy who wonders how many people will take advantage of their privilege to vote on Tuesday.

It is one of the greatest rights we still have in this country to determine who will represent us in various forms of government and the judicial system. Yet many people don’t exercise that right.

Since it is not a presidential election year and it is “only the primary” I’m sure that the numbers will be low.

Yet we have an opportunity to vote for a Mercer County Common Pleas Court judge as to who will represent us on the Republican and Democratic tickets in the fall.

And maybe more importantly for those of us who hope to never have to appear before any judge, we have a chance to vote for people to represent us on municipal or school boards.

Since they control a great deal of our tax money, I like to have a say on who will be digging their hands into my wallet.

I know that some people consider it a trite saying that “Every vote counts.” But it often does.

Look at the recent voting in Brookfield concerning the levy to raise taxes to support the school district. The levy there passed by a mere three votes. And the funny part is, far less than half the eligible voters turned out to consider their tax fate.

On Tuesday I would expect that the number of voters will be in the 30 percent range of the eligible number. That means that perhaps 16 or 17 percent (a majority of those voting) of the voters can decide who will be in office.

One of my favorites quotes by Thomas Jefferson was: “The masses are ignorant.”

I’ve always felt that Jefferson was referring to people who don’t vote, so if he’s right, maybe it’s good that there is a low voter turnout after all.

ä Last Sunday we celebrated another Mother’s Day. I’m lucky to live close to my mum — being of Irish heritage she has always been “mum” to my five siblings and me — so I get to see her often.

Since she’ll turn 87 in June, I cherish those times because I realize that someday she won’t be there.

One of the things she often says when I leave the house is – “I’m proud of all my children.” And I always tell her: “Mum, we’re all proud of you.”

After all, how could we not be? She and my dad both sacrificed a lot to raise three boys and three girls. While only my dad worked – she gave up nursing after her oldest son (me) was born – we didn’t have a lot of extra material things, but we never wanted for anything that was important.

The most important thing we never lacked was the love of our mother. Hey, does anybody hug better than a mother? Does anybody wipe away tears of a young boy or girl better than a mother? Does anybody help mend a broken heart better than a mother?

You know they came up with “Mother’s Day” as a special time to honor women. But for many of us, one day a year certainly could never make up for what our mothers gave up for us.

So to all mothers out there – and especially to my mum Martha Fern Saternow – thanks for being there for us.

I love ya mum. But most of all, I’m proud of you!

The Herald’s Lynn Saternow writes this column each Saturday for The Opinion Page. He can be reached at