Make your voice heard - VOTE

Thursday, July 31, 2008

This Tuesday offers area voters a huge chance to get involved in deciding who will be running county government for the next four years. By now, no one should be surprised that an election is on the horizon. Political signs dot the landscape and the newspaper has been full of candidate ads for the past several weeks. We also know that a large number of candidates have launched door-to-door campaigning efforts so there's a good chance you've received a knock on your door and had the opportunity to speak to one of your local candidates face to face.

It has been our policy for the last 13 or so years to refrain from endorsing candidates running for political office. We believe it is the responsibility of each voter to make their own decisions. What we try to do is offer our readers unbiased information about the candidates to assist in the decision-making process.

This week, we offer you two pages of candidate responses to a questionnaire we sent to each one running for county office. These responses can be found on pages 11 and 12 of this week's Cassville Democrat. These answers offer a snapshot look at each candidate's credentials, their reasons for running for office and the issues they feel are most important to Barry County residents. We also are running a copy of the ballot as required by state election laws, so voters know what to expect when they make the trip to the polls on Aug. 5.

On the topic of pre-election coverage, we'd like to know if our readers would be interested in attending candidate forums in advance of future elections. Several years ago, we hosted a school board candidate forum for the R-IV District and also a county candidate forum. In both cases, we were disappointed by the turnout. This is something we'd be willing to resurrect if our readers voice an interest. If this is something you'd like to see the Cassville Democrat sponsor in the future, let me know or submit a comment on our website (www.cassville-democrat.com).

We hope Tuesday's election will attract a record turnout. It's always amazing to me when someone comes into my office to complain about some issue, and then when I ask if they voted in the last election, they tell me "no" or "I don't believe in voting." Immediately, this makes me want to stop listening.

If you truly care about your community, your county, your state and your country, you will exercise one of the greatest rights that's afforded to you as a citizen of the United States of America - you'll make the trip to the polls and vote this Tuesday, Aug. 5.