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Let your voice be heard

September 10, 2006|by Liz Thompson

Let me climb up on my soap box.

OK. I'm ready.

Vote. Vote. Vote.

The Maryland primary is Tuesday. The polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

See. You have all day. You can certainly fit it in.

So will you please take your civic responsibilities seriously and haul yourself to the polls on Tuesday?

It isn't that hard. It will take five minutes of your time. And you will have participated in a process that not everyone is lucky enough to have.

The risk that someone will shoot you, for example, because you're trying to exercise your right to vote is slim to none. In some countries the same cannot be said but people still go to the polls in droves.

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Your voice matters but so many people choose not to speak up by voting.

It drives me crazy.

And it isn't as though you don't have any choices.

Twenty-three people are running for five seats on the Washington County Commissioners. In the primary, voters will pick five Republicans and five Democrats to run in the Nov. 7 general election.

Ten people are running for four seats on the Washington County Board of Education. Four years ago, three people ran for three seats on the School Board. There wasn't much of a choice then. There is on Tuesday. Voters will select six of the candidates who will be placed on the Nov. 7 ballot.

Four people want to be the state's attorney and five people want to be sheriff. Voters will select from among three Republicans in the state's attorney's race to win the Republican nomination and face the lone Democrat in November. In the sheriff's race, voters will select from four Republicans, one of whom will win the nomination for the November general election against the lone Democrat.

If that many people are willing to step up to serve, the least Washington County residents can do is vote.

Please don't tell me that you don't know enough about the candidates to make a selection. If that is your excuse it isn't a very good one.

Candidates have done their share of campaigning, and I can tell you that The Herald-Mail also tried to get information to the voters. We did profile stories on every candidate. Those stories told readers who the candidates were, why they wanted to serve and what they thought were the important issues.

The newspaper also was a co-sponsor to two, two-hour forums at Kepler Theater at Hagerstown Community College. The forums were covered by the newspaper and broadcast live by Antietam Cable, another co-sponsor of the forums. Antietam Cable also re-broadcast the forums and offered the forums through their video-on-demand service. HCC and The League of Women Voters of Washington County were the other co-sponsors.

The newspaper also has an election guide on its Web site. If you want to learn more about the candidates, go to www.herald-mail.com. Click on "news" and then on "election guide."

Make your plans for Tuesday now and fit in time to vote. If you haven't registered to vote, you can't vote in the primary but don't let that be your excuse in November. Go the Washington County Board of Elections as soon as you can and register.

Take part in your community. Let your voice be heard.

Vote.




Liz Thompson is The Herald-Mail city editor.

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