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Talking it over: Voting is a privilege

In a few weeks, United States citizens will be allowed to exercise one of their freedoms - voting. It is not only a freedom but a privilege, duty and hope for the future.

I enjoy the right to vote but not all the slanderous campaigning that often leads up to it. I like to learn more about the issues each candidate stands on. This is often quite difficult because the answers to many of the questions addressed to the candidates are sometimes not very clear. In some cases, it is obvious they are simply trying to get votes and not necessarily trying to take a stand on an issue.

The higher up in the ranks of government a candidate gets, the less they seem to take a stand or commit to an issue. Even though a voter may think they have the perfect candidate, a few years in office can change your opinion in a hurry.

That is why, for me, it is hard to cast my vote. I know it is my duty, it is one of my freedoms that I shouldn't take for granted. It is also a privilege, but I am not always too sure about how it will affect my future and the future of our country. Sometimes you just have to go with your gut instinct when it comes to picking the perfect candidate.

In our local elections we are more fortunate in that we are able to get to know the candidates more personally. Even though you may know the candidates, it is always nice to know how they stand on some issues, so we take the time to have them fill out questionnaires and print them in the paper. Since there is limited space in our paper, we will only feature the local elections of school board and city council. The school board candidates will be featured this week and city council next week.

From what I have seen of the responses, the voters here will have just as difficult a decision in the local races as they will in the state and national races. We have some very good candidates for the seats on the school board and city council. No matter who is voted in, we will have some quality representation.

I encourage everyone to exercise their right to vote and to be an educated voter. Do a little research, watch a few debates, read some of the answers given to important issues and go with the person you feel will do the best job. Not just for you, but also for the community, county, state and country.