The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

November 4, 2012

Get out and vote

— On Friday, we learned that Hunt County voters set a new record, casting more than 13,000 ballots in early voting — more than ever before.

Let’s keep it up.

As more people take an interest in national politics, whether through Facebook banter, over a cup of coffee or around the dinner table, record numbers of voters are expected to turn out across America to make their choice known in Tuesday’s presidential election. We hope that’s the case here in Hunt County, too.

Part of the growing interest is because voters see this as a crucial election, one that pits the security blanket of government programs against the reality of fiscal austerity. Both candidates have their ideas about where that balance needs to be, and the country appears to be passionately divided between the Democratic plans and the Republican ones.

In fact, after a campaign season marked by negative attacks filled with misleading facts from both sides, many voters aren’t choosing to vote for any candidate. Instead, they’re voting against somebody. That says a lot about how bitter the world of politics has become and how cynical it’s made modern voters.

Here at the Herald-Banner, we won’t tell you how to vote. We don’t plan on making a presidential endorsement this year, knowing full well that our readers will presume us to be part of the “liberal media” or backing the “conservative agenda,” depending on which side of the fence they view us from.

The truth is that we’re a small-town paper staffed by people with political views that most likely match those of the whole community. We don’t always agree on national politics, nor are we presumptuous enough to think that our opinions on the president matter to anybody. Voters are smart enough to make up their own minds.

And that brings up an important point.

Don’t just vote. Vote with purpose. Vote with solid information. Vote with knowledge.

We hope you’ll look closely at each of the candidates for local, state and national races. In the information age, there is more information available than most voters know what to do with. We hope you’ll sift through it, find what’s important to you, and weed out the irrelevant nonsense that is the hallmark of today’s politics.

Please vote, and do so while fully informed.