Exercise your right... Vote!

By Chuck Kajer

On Tuesday, Nov. 2, Americans across the country will take part in a ritual that has been held since the early days of our nation. They will go to the polls and vote for their leaders.

Voting is not something that should be taken for granted. Americans fought for the right of self-determination, winning their independence from Britain. Since then, they have exercised the right to vote in elections to choose their leaders, both local and national.

This newspaper encourages its readers to utilize that right, and to do it responsibly. Look at the candidates in all the races. Know what they stand for. Whether you're voting for a city council member, a county commissioner, a state legislator, a member of Congress, a judge, or for governor, take the time to find out who is running and why. Do some research. A good place to start might be last week's Voter's Guide in The Times, which profiled candidates in a number of local and area races.

But don't stop there. Once the campaigning is over, the election results have been announced, the winners have given their victory speeches and the losers have given concession speeches, keep an eye on these elected officials. Watch that they are doing what they promised and make sure they are doing their homework. Remember, these candidates will be back on the ballot in two or four years, and you will have the opportunity to make these decisions all over again.

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