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Citizens have right, duty to participate in elections

It is somewhat troubling to hear reports about the public’s lackof interest in or even awareness of elections that will be decidedin a little over a month.

We will admit that judicial contests and congressional races donot generate the same sizzle as local and state elections that willbe decided next year. However, this year’s Nov. 7 general electionis no less important in deciding who our leaders will be in theirrespective areas.

Aside from some momentary heat over some candidates seeking twojudicial posts at once – a move that is allowable under state law -the Fourth District state Court of Appeals race largely has beenleft for office-seekers to generate buzz about the election.Judicial conduct rules about campaigning, however, limit whatcandidates can say about many issues and therefore are more likelyto generate a snooze rather than a buzz.

Campaign limitations notwithstanding, the Court of Appeals ranksas the second-highest court in the state and in many cases has thefinal say on issues that come before it. Voters should seek out andlearn as much as they can about the candidates who want to bejudges on that bench.

Also, congressional contests fail to garner any great interestwhen their outcomes are considered foregone conclusions. In somecases that may be good and in others bad, but nevertheless thestatus quo is maintained.

Regardless of the circumstances surrounding particular contests,elections represent the opportunity for people to make theiropinions known and are part of the foundation upon which this greatcountry was built. Voting is a cherished right, but with that rightcomes the responsibility to exercise it when given the chance.

Friday is the deadline for citizens to be eligible to vote innext month’s general election. If you haven’t done so already, goregister. And then go vote.