2016-04-13 / Editorials

Rock The Vote, Now!

If you are registered and we sure do hope you are, be prepared to get to the polls on April 19, for the primaries. New York counts for 291 Democratic delegates, and 95 Republican, quite a big boon to winning candidates. If you are thinking you will just wait until the general election in November, you are limiting your own choices. Imagine how you would feel if you had not made an effort and the wrong person gets in office. You would have no right to complain.

Everyone has an opinion. Now is your turn to address your valid concerns. It is easier than ever before to make an educated choice. Also, being familiar with campaigns helps us hold the lucky winner to their promises. We implore everyone to be sure to check both sides of the issues, and listen to the actual candidates on all important topics. It is easier than ever before to simply go online and enter the candidate’s name and topic. You will get videos you can watch, or simply read various publications. We would encourage everyone to do as all good journalists should do, go to the original source so that the message comes through loud and clear, and not filtered, misinterpreted or manipulated. Just like in the old game of “Post Office,” second-hand information can be degraded – especially by those who do not bother to check their own biases – and all humans have them. Also, even if you have made up your mind, be fair and check both sides, and you will see who is making more sense, and who is using factual details. Read/listen critically – do they contradict themselves, do past actions belie their words? Be open, there is still some time.

Have civil discussions with people whose opinions you respect. Even those whose opinions you usually do not! Let the young ones hear and ask questions, and even give an opinion. This is an important, teachable moment – or object lesson, as it used to be called. It not only helps the next generation learn about right and wrong, but about who their family is, what is important to them, and about a little thing called democracy. It is not about dominating the others, but about respectfully, rationally making important decisions together. If you are open, you may hear facts and points of view that had not occurred to you before.

Not sure if you are registered, or where to go? It is easy! Go online, to www.elections.ny.gov/ and one click will show you both. You can easily print out the results. We would recommend you bring that with you, just in case there is any question when you get there. No system is perfect.

The future of our country is at stake. Do not let people say we do not care enough to go vote. In the past we have seen pitiful turnouts, especially for midterm elections and primaries. They are all important. If you do not plan to go, think how many others are thinking the same thing. Set the example. We are all in this together, and we need to be adults and seize the opportunity we are so blessed with to guide the future of our own country. Make your voice heard in the most powerful way we have.

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