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Don't let ignorance guide your vote

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By The Staff

A comment by Tell City-Troy Township school-board member Larry Bryant April 13 struck us as rather odd.

"I had a discussion with a citizen today," Bryant said, "who said the reason they voted against the referendum last time was because we did not share what we were going to do with the money; we kept it secret. I asked them if they'd heard of the open meetings. They hadn't heard of any open meetings, they hadn't heard any information ... they said we'd kept it secret."

We wonder how many other people let ignorance guide their choices in the special election.

The right to vote, whether for a national leader or a local issue, carries serious responsibilities. Very real consequences arise from the decisions we collectively make in voting booths throughout the township or the nation.

We like to think people voting for or against construction at Tell City High School last November made their choices based on their knowledge of the consequences. Those advocating the work expressed the view that the school should be brought up to certain standards, determined by two committees that examined the building and debated what students should expect.

The reasons some people opposed it were never made clear, as no one to our knowledge spoke out against it. They weren't required to, of course, so we can only speculate about the opinions behind the "no" votes that barely outnumbered the "yeses." We know many people feel taxes are already too high here. Some believe even a slight increase is too much to bear. Some people may believe the current facilities are adequate, so any additional spending is unnecessary. All of those are legitimate opinions if they were arrived at by careful thought.

To everyone who carefully considered the issue before casting your vote, we offer our gratitude, regardless of how you voted. If we could, we would chastise those who let ignorance guide their hand in the voting booth. To that voter, we say you have the responsibility to arm yourself with the knowledge you need to make an informed vote.

We urged in a July editorial, more than three months before the referendum: Ample time remains for anyone with strong feelings one way or the other to make them known before we voters register our opinions privately through the election process.

As always, we invite letters to the editor communicating your thoughts to the public. If you'd prefer a more private method, we know each member of the school board wants to know what's on your mind. If you're not yet sure about whether or how you'll vote ... we urge you to seek all of the information you can get.

A primary is almost upon us and will be followed by a general election in November. Both will have significant consequences we will either enjoy or endure through the years that follow.

What will be your contribution?

Our view: Editorials reflect the opinions of the newspaper.

Your view: Tell us what you think. E-mail us at editor@perrycountynews.com or mail your comments to P.O. Box 309, Tell City, IN 47586.