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Voting is privilege that should be exercised

Tuesday is Election Day, and a task that so many of us take forgranted will be exercised by less than half of those of us who havethe privilege.

Voting is a privilege. For in so many places in the world, thechoice of leadership is not a decision given to the averageindividual.

Yes, our electoral system is confusing and frustrating.

The negative campaigning and misinformation is puzzling at best.With the professional campaigns that put political spin on everyissue, it is almost impossible to wade through the morass of TV andradio commercials, newspaper ads and direct mail pieces.

But as confusing as it all is, the importance of each and everyvote could not have been clearer than in the 2000 presidentialelections or the 1999 race for governor between Mike Parker andRonnie Musgrove.

Each and every vote counts. We here in Lincoln County shouldknow that more than anyone else.

Unfortunately, this season’s election campaign has becomenastier than most.

Besides the governor and lieutenant governor’s races, negativetactics have moved into the race for attorney general. Even thenon-controversial position of treasurer has seen attack ads inrecent days.

As a result, many voters are turned off and tuned out.

As is evident by the recent statewide polls, a larger percentageof the electorate than usual is undecided, obviously frustrated bythe process and honestly not knowing or caring who wins. That is ascary thought in these crucial economic times in our state’shistory.

Daily, as our troops continue to face harm’s way in Iraq andsoldiers continue to die in the terrorist’s attacks, the importanceof our exercising the right to vote could not be more obvious. Asin each generation before us, men and women have died preservingthe right for the rest of us to to enjoy the freedoms we havetoday.

Over the next two days, if you have not made up your mind, takea few minutes to ask your friends their opinions on the candidates.Ask them what they think and why, then make a decision andvote.

Due to the growing two-party system in this state, there isalways confusion as to whether one can vote as a Democrat,Republican or as an Independent.

Tuesday’s election is the general election and voters may votefor the candidate of their choice regardless of party affiliationand regardless of which party primary you voted in in August. Youcan vote for all of the Democrats or all the Republicans or amixture from all the parties.

In this election, you are voting for the individual.

It is your right to vote. Please exercise that right.

Write to Bill Jacobs at P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven, Miss.39602, or send e-mail to bjacobs@dailyleader.com.