10/08/06 — Your responsibility: Before entering voting booth, get to know the candidates

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Your responsibility: Before entering voting booth, get to know the candidates

The date is drawing near when Wayne County residents are going to have to get out and choose whom they want to see in some key positions in their county.

Although there are only a few major races on the ballot this November, there are enough to make it well worth the time to get out and cast your ballot.

And the impact is not just immediately local either. There are several state races on the ballot that could make a difference in the future of this county. Whom we choose to send to Raleigh can have a direct impact on what comes back this way in terms of law-making and state funding.

Add to that a couple of judges’ races, and you have every reason in the world to start researching who says what and who has done what when it comes to the best interest of Wayne County.

There will be much said over the next month about the men and women who want to be in the various leadership positions up for grabs this fall.

Some will say anything voters want to hear to get that check next to their name on the ballot.

But this is not just any election, and the decisions we make next month are not easily erasable if they are the wrong ones.

As you begin to digest information about the candidates for the U.S. Congress (District 3), North Carolina House and Senate and the Appeals and Supreme Court judges, the sheriff’s race and the clerk of courts race, think about the big picture. Measure performance, qualifications and philosophy as evidenced by the decisions that have been made over the years.

And if you will decide a school board member this fall, think about what is best for your children and who has the qualifications to make decisions about his or her future. All those questions are extremely important.

If you think the incumbent has provided exemplary service and has represented his or her community or state well, check that box. If you think there needs to be a change — and one candidate has a much more well-articulated platform than the other — make that checkmark.

But whatever you do, don’t make a check just because someone is a Republican or a Democrat or because someone told you he or she would make a good politician. That is not always a guarantee that a particular candidate walks the walk when it comes to actual law-making. Decide for yourself who most deserves your vote. That is your responsibility as an informed voter.

And if you have a particular question, send it to your friendly neighborhood newspaper. We will be spending a lot of time with the candidates for all those slots on the November ballot. We would love to take them a few questions right from the people they represent or hope to represent.

And don’t hold back, either. This is your chance to ask the questions that matter to you and to determine which candidate has the right stuff to lead this community.

There is no wrong answer at the ballot box if you have done your research.

And now, it is time to get to work on that research.

Published in Editorials on October 8, 2006 12:16 AM