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Be an informed voter or stay home

In order to ensure freedom for future generations of Americans, the founders of our nation gave us a democratic form of government in which every citizen has an equal voice in selecting our leaders and lawmakers through a process called voting.
Our founding fathers had lived under the rule of a king. They knew firsthand what it was like to live under a dictator with no voice in the political process. They didn’t want that for our nation.
Voting gives each of us a voice in the political process; we think voting is the right and duty of every citizen of voting age.
America is one of the few countries in the world whose citizens are accorded the privilege and freedom to vote in free elections. In many countries, elections are conducted but the results are determined by the candidate with the most military power.
Even though Americans have the freedom to pick our leaders, only about 50 percent of all American citizens exercise their right to vote in any given election.
The importance of voting was demonstrated clearly in our last presidential election. George W. Bush defeated Al Gore in the state of Florida by only a handful of votes to win the state and the presidency. It is possible that if only a few more Democrats had voted, Gore would have won.
Our nation went through many days of turmoil as the votes were counted and recounted, but, in the end, to the best of our ability, a fair election was conducted which demonstrated the strength of our democratic system.
Because of hanging chads and the possibility of confusing ballots, which may have swayed the election results, causing some votes to be thrown out, our voting officials are working hard to make the process of voting easier and more accurate to ensure that every vote that is cast counts.
In addition to voting, it is also the responsibility of every citizen to educate himself or herself about the candidates and the issues. Voters must do their homework before casting their votes. An uneducated vote can be a wasted vote.
How do you know whom to vote for? There are several ways.
Studies have shown that some people vote for the best-looking candidate or the one with the best personality, without considering their qualifications or character.
Some voters vote strictly along party lines, never voting a split-ticket, choosing to believe that the candidate of their party is the best choice, no matter what. They never take time to compare opposing candidates to determine who might indeed be the best person for the job.
In some elections, voters vote for their cousin or best friend. Other voters look for the incumbent, figuring that things are OK — so why change?
Still others feel that all the candidates are crooks and liars, so they don’t vote at all.
Polls have shown that many people go into the voting booth without any real knowledge of the candidates or what they stand for.
At The Corydon Democrat, we want our readers to be educated voters. We want to help you by providing information you can use in making your decisions. We believe educated voters are most likely to choose the best candidates for each office regardless of party affiliation or family ties, and the best candidates will in turn provide us with the best government.
As you know, we are now in a primary election period. There are many candidates for each office. (Fourteen men are running for sheriff, for example.) Each is trying hard to become their party’s candidate in the fall election.
We realize that it’s difficult for voters to find their way through this maze of candidates, so we’ll be working extra hard to inform you about them.
All through the month of April, we’ll present the results of interviews with each of the candidates and information about each race. We hope you will be able to learn enough to make a wise choice when you enter the voting booth.
Remember, as an American citizen it is your duty to be an informed voter as you help to choose our next leaders.