Please be a responsible voter

In less than two weeks voters will head to the polls to decide who will be the final candidates for several offices at the local, state and federal level.

All voters in Franklin County will decide candidates for governor, U.S. Senator, Attorney General, State Treasurer and Franklin County Sheriff.

Republican voters and Democratic voters will have other races, but none in common as the candidates on those tickets are unopposed.

The ability to vote for the candidate you want to represent you in the government is part of what makes this country so great – the people have a voice.

It is also a big responsibility, and people who chose to exercise their right to vote should remember what is at stake when they are at the polls.

The votes cast at the ballot box determine the individuals that will be running the local, state and federal government for two to six years depending on the office.

The only right vote someone can cast is the vote for the candidate that has the closest political views to the voter — that is to say you vote for the person most like you.

While there is only one right way to vote, there are several wrong ways to vote.

  • The uneducated vote — This is the vote cast by somebody who has not taken the time to learn the issues and figure out how each candidate feels about the issues. It is as though people are voting for the sake of voting. Again, voting is a responsibility. If you don’t want to do it and take it seriously, then stay at home.
  • The ill-informed vote — This is the vote cast by somebody who thinks they are informed about candidates and issues, but received their information from less than reputable sources. Remember, gossip is not a reputable source, and there will be plenty of that going around — there always is around election time, especially on Web sites.
  • The popular vote — Perhaps the most dangerous of the wrong votes because it is both uneducated and ill-informed. This happens when a voter has spoken with several people and thinks Candidate A has a better chance of winning than Candidate B and casts a vote for Candidate A because the voter wants to say they voted for a winner.

Like it or not, there were several people in 2008 who openly admitted they registered to vote for the first time only so they could make history by helping elect Barack Obama, the nation’s first black president. Some of these people also openly admitted they did not knowing much about Obama’s policies.

Voting for somebody you don’t know much about is dangerous — remember, Adolph Hitler was an elected official.

Voting is a big responsibility. Take time to learn about the candidates and the issues then vote your conscience.

Saying you voted is great, but if you help elect the wrong people, everybody pays for it.

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