WHAT OTHERS SAY: Get educated, then vote

Monday, November 5, 2012 | 3:34 p.m. CST

Now, it’s your turn.

“We the People ...” — those powerful words that begin the preamble to the U.S. Constitution — take on special meaning on Election Day, calling on us to exercise our rights to shape the government that seeks to create “a more perfect Union.”

Particularly this year, our union seems far from perfect — and the endless cacophony of commercials and talking heads on television talk shows makes the disharmony readily apparent.

But don’t let all of that negativity stop you from going to the polls on Tuesday.

In fact, that is one of the unstated goals of some campaigns as they hope to pile so much dirt on an opponent that voters get disgusted and stay home.

On the national level, many consider this presidential election to be the most important in a generation, and while the outcome in Missouri may not be in doubt, your vote still adds to the collective opinion.

The race for U.S. Senate in Missouri has been particularly contentious, and the outcome could directly affect which party controls the Senate for the next two years, so voters here could have a big impact on the eventual solutions to gridlock about the federal budget and a host of other major issues.

At the state level, voters will choose a governor and most other top state officeholders, as well as members of the legislature — and key local offices (such as county commissioner) are on the ballot as well.

We won’t overstate the case here about the importance of one vote — but it is true that in close elections, every vote matters.

This will be a close election at many levels. So please, take the time to educate yourself, make up your mind about the best candidate in each race — and go vote.

Copyright Springfield News-Leader. Reprinted with permission.

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