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 EDITORIAL: The value of voting


(Oct. 28, 2010) — Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 2. If you’re reading this editorial then there is a good chance you will head to the polls and cast a vote for your favorite candidate. Those who read newspapers or educate themselves on the candidates typically are the ones who exercise their right to vote most vigorously.

But, sadly, many will not head to the polls this Election Day. Many of these people are your friends, classmates and family members. Why is this the case?

Voter turnout is always an important issue, not so much because of who wins and who loses. Instead, getting out the vote matters because voicing one’s opinion through one’s democratic right to choose public officials is a right that many people in the world quite literally die for.

Why do we take the right to vote for granted? Chances are because of past political ineptitude and a general dissatisfaction with public officials of all parties. But just because the players come and go, the fundamental obligation remains. Voting is necessary, anything less is unacceptable.

This week, The Leader profiles the many candidates for public office in the local area. From the race for Bergen County executive, where Dennis McNerney will face off against Kathleen Donovan, to the three-person contest for the Wallington Borough Council, there is a full slate of candidates vying for your attention.

You should give them your attention, if not your vote. Find out where they stand on the issues that matter the most.

Are they in favor of the blue laws? Do they have a plan to promote commercial development? How will they strive to reduce taxes? Does their record speak to their current campaign goals? Are they genuinely trying to help the citizenry or do they have larger political goals in mind?

In today’s super-busy world of appointments, soccer practices, parties and overtime work, it’s tough to take the time out of the day and cast an educated vote. Who has the wherewithal to cut through all the mudslinging and actually find the core of the candidate?

This week’s special edition will hopefully help you close that gap. You won’t find every answer within the pages of The Leader this week. In fact, some people may find no answers at all. Readers may soak in the stances of each candidate, or they may pass them off as campaign drivel. But at least you’re one step ahead of the uneducated voter (and two steps ahead of the person who sits at home on Nov. 2).

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