ON POINT / Your vote

Posted

Your vote is important. A single vote can change the course of government. 

Don’t believe me? A few years ago, a local county board race was a tie and the luck of the draw determined the winner. Regardless of your political beliefs, that election changed the course of county government for a period of time. 

The Macon County Sheriff’s race from the last election is still up in the air because of a one-vote differential and a couple of ballots that may not have been properly accounted for. A single vote can change the course. 

The primary election is set for March 17. This time the citizens of DeWitt County have some choices to make, regardless of which party you belong to. Locally, we have contested races for the county board and state’s attorney. On the national level, the Democratic presidential race is hotly contested. 

This column is not to endorse any particular candidate, and you will find that no individual candidate is mentioned. The goal of this column is to suggest some thoughts to you as a voter that may help in your decision making process. 

Educate yourself about the candidates, and learn their positions on the issues. What follows are some suggestions on how to make that determination. The value you place on these suggestions may be entirely different than mine. That’s fine. The key is that you, as a voter, have made an informed decision before you cast that vote. That vote is yours and yours alone; make it your choice.

Current office-holders who have done a good job are usually worth retaining. They have the experience and time in office to understand their jobs. Most governmental agencies have administrative difficulties when there is a large turnover of elected officials. This is not to say that new people with divergent views are not worthy of consideration. They are, but the voter has to balance the new with a proven track record.

Community. Community. Community. Does the office-holder/seeker contribute to the community? Is the candidate involved with a local church, a civic club, the schools, summer programs or community events? Is that candidate a part of the community or does the candidate simply want a job? 

That candidate will be paid with your tax dollars. Does he/she support our community at large in a fashion that builds community both economically and socially? 

The voters of DeWitt County expect their elected officials to be seen in the community. Is that candidate available at community events and does that candidate support local community events?

Single issue candidates are a concern. That a candidate is passionate about a particular issue is certainly a reason to help define the candidacy and may well be reason to support a vote for the candidate. The problem with single issue candidates is that other issues are not normally addressed by them in their campaigns. For the past 20 years, DeWitt County has received much of its tax revenue from a nuclear power plant and a landfill. Wind turbines are now coming into the equation across the state. 

These are complex issues that deserve comments by the candidates for your inspection. What are the revenue sources for the county and what services would be cut if the revenue fails to materialize? What level of policing are we going to have and at what cost? What type of roads do we want to have in the county, and how are they to be maintained? Any candidate can be for or against any issue, the key for the voter is what is the consequence of that position. 

March 17 is the primary election, and early voting has started. Your vote is your own in our democracy. Please make that an informed decision and then vote for the candidates of your choice.  VOTE!