Take time to learn about the candidates before election day

Next Tuesday, Nov. 5, we go to the polls to elect our state and county governments. Everyone should exercise their right to vote but they should be educated before casting those votes.

Now is the time ask the serious questions. Who will be the best qualified official to serve us for the next four years? What do our local and state candidates plan to do when they take office? What are their stances on crime prevention, infrastructure improvement and economic spending?

In the primary in August, the turnout was mediocre at best. This poor turnout gives the impression that Tippah County citizens are unconcerned and possibly even uneducated about the importance of electing qualified and just civil servants to represent our county and state.

In local politics, many of us tend to make up our minds quickly. We tend to vote for our friends and relatives or the friendly guy who came to our home and gave us a business card. We also tend to vote for the republican or democrat candidate on the ballot according to our party preference.

But are those candidates really the best qualified for the job?

Many times people are too involved in their own lives to research candidates or go to public speakings to meet the candidates and ask questions. But we all should.

I have been guilty of not caring enough about politics myself. I have chores and shopping to do on the weekends or when I get off work, and do not like to spend extra time worrying about politics.  I also have relatives and friends running for office, and they will probably get my vote, and in other races I have already made up my mind who I am voting for. But there are still plenty of races that I am unsure about. There are many candidates, especially at the state level, who I have never met and do not even know what they look like.

How many times have we went to the polls and just picked a name out of the list without knowing anything about the person? It is just as much our responsibility to learn about candidates as it is theirs to get out and meet the people.

Think about these things before voting Tuesday. Does the candidate’s values line up with your values? Will they be the best person for the job? Will they stay true to their platforms and the needs of their constituents? Will the county and state be better off with them in office?

We, as citizens, should know our candidates personally. We should care what their beliefs are. We should go to any and every meet and greet or candidate speaking there is until we have an intellectual and informed idea on who we plan to vote for. Voting for the nice guy or our friend is not always the best choice for our county. Vote for who will make and carry out our laws justly, will improve the lives and well-being of our citizens and who will serve the citizens of Tippah County. Remember elected officials are not “leaders,” they are our public servants. Get out and vote on Tuesday, Nov. 5.

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