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Don't allow burnout to stop you from voting

November 02, 2008|By LINDA DUFFIELD

I know, we have all been so inundated with election information that the last thing in the world you want to read right now is a column that contains the words "election," "voting" or "civic duty."

The barrage has been inescapable. It seems like nearly every television ad is a political message and the all-news networks are presenting little that isn't related to the race for president.

But even if you're feeling that you are in danger of developing a let's-get-this-over-with attitude, do not let that keep you from voting Tuesday.

It has been a wild and woolly election season, and the presidential candidates and their running mates are battling down to the wire. No matter which candidate you support, no matter which candidate wins, the interest that this race has generated can't be a bad thing for the electoral process.

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While the presidential race has everyone talking, there are local races on Tuesday's ballot. Giving them short shrift would be a mistake.

In Washington County, voters will cast ballots in the 6th District congressional race and will choose four people to serve on the Washington County Board of Education. There also are two ballot questions, including one that, if approved, would amend Maryland's constitution to allow up to 15,000 slot machines to be placed at five locations in Maryland. The other would provide for early voting in the state.

Pennsylvania and West Virginia have a number of races to decide, ranging from congressional races to state and local races and, in West Virginia, a gubernatorial race.

The best thing a voter can do is be informed. Don't mark your ballots based on what signs your neighbors have in their yards or on the candidate a co-worker favors. There is still time to figure out where the various candidates stand on the issues related to the offices they are seeking.

Just make sure you get your information from reliable sources and not from someone offering opinion disguised as fact. There's an awful lot of that going on these days and the line has been blurred to the point it's not always easy to tell one from the other.

Washington County voters can catch up on stories about the candidates for school board and Congress that they might have missed or wish to check out again by going to our Web site at www.herald-mail.com and clicking on 2008 Election Coverage.

Or, if you missed the eight school board and three 6th District candidates when they participated in a forum sponsored by The Herald-Mail Co., Antietam Cable and Hagerstown Community College, you can watch the forum Monday at 7 p.m. on Antietam Cable channel 19.

West Virginia and Pennsylvania voters can check out information about their local candidates at www.herald-mail.com.

If you want to see how the results are shaping up Tuesday night, bookmark our Web site. Once the polls close, we will update figures on the presidential and top Tri-State races all night, and will have links to the various sites for county and state election boards.

Although it's been said so many times that it might seem trite, repetition doesn't make it any less true - your vote counts. Let your voice be heard at the polls on Tuesday.

Linda Duffield is city editor of The Herald-Mail. You can e-mail her at lindad@herald-mail.com.

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