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It's important to learn about candidates before you votePosted Friday, April 30, 2010, at 10:45 AM
This coming Tuesday we all get a chance to exercise our right to go to the polls and cast a ballot for candidates who want to be our voice.
They want to take action on our behalf about the way our national, state and local governments as well as our district school boards operate and dole out hard-earned tax dollars.
The decisions made on election day are important ones and ones that Greene County and Indiana residents ought not take lightly.
It's true that Primary Elections are limited to balloting for either Democrat or Republican candidates who are trying to win their party's nod on the General Election ticket.
These people on the respective partisan party ballots are trying to be our representative for the next few years when national and state issues are going to be tackled in a effort to help pull us out of this downward spiraling economy as well as making decisions on moral, defense and environmental issues.
We're not talking partisan politics.
We are talking right and wrong.
We are talking common sense, objectivity and truth.
It's no wonder people get disillusioned, apathetic and disgusted with our political process.
It is true that the actions of some of those elected in the past begs for some accountability, creditability as well as a critical review of their voting records.
It's also true that it is pretty easy for someone running for an office to make promises and pledges out on the campaign trail, only for the constituents to find the truth is revealed later with their voting records or the way they conduct their own business and personal lives.
That's why it is so important for voters to be informed about the candidates and the issues.
This is where each of us bears some personal responsibility.
It takes an effort to understand and know who you are voting for and why they are running for a political office.
I don't think that is an unreasonable expectation of any voter.
The newspaper can provide many of those details about the candidates in the profiles it publishes before the election. But an informed voter probably needs to do some of their own homework.
We need the best people possible to cast those key votes on our behalf in Washington D.C. as well as in Indianapolis, Linton, Bloomfield, Jasonville, Worthington, Switz City, Lyons, Newberry, and the rural areas of Greene County.
School boards are facing extreme challengers with massive state shifts in funding. Budgeting decisions, teacher's jobs and the kind of education were are providing for our children are at stake.
I understand that traditionally voter turnout is very low for primary elections during an off-presidential year.
But the decisions nonetheless remain important and worthy of our effort to get to the polls and at least let our voice be known.
Locally, seats are up for grabs on school boards in Bloomfield, Linton-Stockton, White River Valley and Shakamak.
There is only one contested race at the county level -- District 1 County Council.
The Worthington Town Council also has a couple of seats on the ballot.
Elections are won and lost because people stay at home and don't vote.
I'm in a rather unique position when it comes to politics and the operation of local/state government as well as our schools.
As a journalist for more than three decades, I've sat around the table with a lot of these elected decision-makers, watched and learned.
I've seen many wise decisions made as well as some of those that left you wondering "What were they thinking?"
I've seen people elected to boards, councils and positions who have done a great job for the people they were selected to represent and others failed.
While the number of important local/county races on the ballot this year are few, the significance of those elected offices is not diminished.
In a democracy there is nothing more fundamental than having the right to vote.
When the polls open Primary Election Day, every registered voter will be able to cast a ballot before the polls shutdown -- providing they have a valid photo identification card.
Voting is too often a right we take for granted, one that in truth defines our nation as a democracy.
Universal suffrage -- letting everyone vote -- did not appear overnight with the ratification of our U.S. Constitution.
Two hundred years ago, you had to be white, male, and wealthy in order to vote.
Thank God, those prejudicial days are gone.
Nick is the assistant editor for the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at 847-4487 or 1-800-947-4487 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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