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EDITORIAL: Don't give candidates a free pass

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As Election Day draws near, candidates for local races will be stepping up their efforts to win your votes. We hope Perry County’s voters will take the time in the coming days to devote the time and attention voting demands before going to the polls Nov. 2 or taking part in early voting already under way.

Wednesday’s candidates forum sponsored by The News and the Perry County Chamber of Commerce offered a perfect example of the efforts candidates should be able to put out when asking for our votes. We should expect them to not only tout their experiences and the often-commendable desire to serve the public, but to argue next to their opponents what they want to do if elected and why they are the better choice.

Voting is a personal decision for each of us and we prefer to tread lightly on the electioneering process. Unlike some newspapers, we don’t endorse candidates in this space though we do put our words behind ideas and projects that are sometimes aligned with parties.

We prefer to encourage voters to talk with candidates and our pages offer candidates views through their paid advertisements and through the profiles of candidates that come from questionnaires they provide us as well as comments made at last week’s forum. Our advice is to listen and read everything candidates have to offer. Of course, the best way to assess a candidate is firsthand. We encourage voters to talk with the men and women seeking office as they attend public events and go knocking on front doors. If a candidate lands on your doorstep, accept their literature, but don’t forget to ask them why they are running. If there’s an issue you want them to address, ask them then and there. It’s we the voters who have the power and candidates should be at our beckoning.

Political parties seem to make the most news as Election Day draws near and we value the roles parties have in aiding candidates and putting forth platforms of ideas.

But local elections are most often about individuals and we encourage voters to learn about the people who are running Nov. 2 and just which candidates belong to what political party. Consider their experience and work histories, accomplishments and motivations for running. Consider everything but remember the decision on whom to vote for is yours.

We’d be remiss if we didn’t thank everyone who took part in last week’s forum at the Schergens Center. Thanks to the candidates who devoted their time and the audience who attended in person and who sat attentively a for more than three hours. Thanks also to the Cromwell Radio Group for broadcasting the event.

We encourage everyone interested in the school-board race to attend a forum for those 13 people at 4 p.m. Oct. 24 in the Tell City High School auditorium.

We take our leave with the most important of requests. Please vote. It seems some people just don’t go to the polls anymore. We’re not sure if its disinterest or a feeling that their votes don’t really count. Perhaps some of us feel all candidates are the same and it doesn’t matter who gets put in office.

None of those excuses are valid. Your votes count. Candidates differ in their viewpoints and the men and women we place into office next month will make a real and lasting difference, for better or worse, in our lives and those of our communities.

See you at the polls Nov. 2.

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.